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Monday, May 3, 2021

| May 3, 2021

Monday Memo: Meet Meg. While syndicated shows compete to fill former Rush Limbaugh hours, some stations are reverting to local hosts. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke introduces you to “a radio newcomer who quickly clicked.” Read it here.

Pending Business: The Long and Winding Road. The seller who needs to provide metrics in a highly accountable media landscape and has no “numbers” to show could be at a competitive disadvantage. But sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa offers strategy for selling news/talk radio when your station doesn’t subscribe to a ratings service. Read it here.

Cardle and Woolley Join KJCE, Austin for Mornings. Austin news/talk KJCE “Talk 1370AM” announces the addition of the “Cardle and Woolley” morning news and talk program to its program schedule in the 7:00 am to 9:00 am slot. Jim Cardle (left) is publisher of the online political newsletter TexasInsider.org and has more than 30 years of connections and experience across the political spectrum, from his years on Capitol Hill and the George H.W. Bush administration, to years of working with elected officials from across the state. Lynn Woolley (right) brings more than 30 years of talk radio experience from markets across Texas, including more than 24 years as host of the syndicated “The Lynn Woolley Show,” heard in several Texas markets. He’s also worked as a radio news anchor in Dallas and Austin, a political writer for The Dallas Morning News and The Epoch Times and has worked on the ad agency side of the business in his native Temple and across much of Central Texas. Audacy Austin SVP and market manager Bob Mackay says, “We are excited to provide Austin and central Texas with a new local outlet to join the conversation on issues and concerns people have that affect our area. The combination of Jim’s and Lynn’s opinions and perspectives will be informative and entertaining as we aim to serve the community.”

Cumulus Media Bids Adieu to WTOD-FM, Toledo; Moves ‘The Ticket’ to WQQO-HD2. With Saturday’s closing on Cumulus Media’s sale of Toledo radio station WTOD-FM to Delmarva Educational, Cumulus announces that the sports talk format “The Ticket ESPN” moves to WQQO-HD2. Cumulus Toledo/Monroe VP and market manager Dana DiModica says, “We are sad to see a station like WTOD leave our cluster but are excited to move forward with the change on 100.7 to ESPN sports and to still carry our alternative rock format, now on 94.5’s HD signal. We were fortunate enough to keep all our employees, and that is always our ultimate goal while carrying great programming for our loyal listeners in Northwest Ohio.” “The Ticket ESPN” is home to Cleveland Browns pre-game and post-game shows, Bowling Green State University sports and Central Catholic sports.

iHeartMedia Dayton to Move to New Offices in Dayton Arcade. WDTN-TV, Dayton is reporting that iHeartMedia’s Dayton stations will move into the historic Dayton Arcade in downtown Dayton with the move-in date expected sometime in late September. The iHeartMedia Dayton cluster includes sports talk WONE-AM “980 FOX Sports,” WIZE “Black Information Network, and six music brands. Market president Dave Litteral says, “We are thrilled to be part of the transformation of this historic landmark and bring our broadcast and digital operations to the heart of our city. Connecting our influencers, marquee talent, and operation staff with the innovation Space and Arts Centers in the Arcade will cement our commitment to the Downtown Dayton Business District. It’s really the perfect location for iHeartMedia Dayton.”

TALKERS News Notes. The weekend program, “Cindy Stumpo is Tough as Nails,” launches its fourth season on iHeartMedia’s all-news WBZ-AM, Boston. Cindy Stumpo hosts the program that airs Saturday nights at 8:00 pm with her daughter Samantha. iHeartMedia says that on the program, “Cindy unpacks the world of construction, real estate, renovations, design and more with help of expert guests. Cindy is known for her raw and uncensored perspective on everything about being a woman who has been successful in the male dominated construction and development industry. Almost nothing is off limits: panic attacks, menopause, abuse, domestic violence, we never know what’s next. Cindy’s social media presence is unstoppable with over 75,000 followers on Instagram and videos on her YouTube Channel regularly garnering 100,000-plus views. Cindy has shown that she is a multimedia force.”…..The Independent Broadcasters Association’s IBA webinar series continues this week with “The FCC EEO Rules and How to Survive Them,” taking place Thursday (5/6) at 2:00 pm ET. Veteran telecom lawyer Gregg Skall will put owners and managers on the path to successful license renewal and FCC EEO audit survival, without FCC fines and sanctions. Most importantly, this one webinar will provide full credit for stations by training management on compliance with FCC EEO requirements. The webinar is for member stations only. See information about joining the IBA here…..This month is the fourth annual Maryland Podcast Month. Founded in 2018, Maryland Podcast Month brings together podcasts of all stripes to “cross-collaborate and cross-promote in order to create more opportunities for podcasts to get new listeners.” Maryland Podcast Month is non-partisan and non-ideological and consists of all sorts of locally produced conduct, including podcasts about news, politics, sports, life, culture, food, wrestling, and other shows. Founder Brian Griffiths says, “Maryland Podcast Month is all about shining a light on locally produced content. In this time of social distancing, there is no better way to connect to others and connect to our community and topics of interest than through podcasting. Maryland podcasters are still producing great content, and they deserve a bigger spotlight.” For the first time, Maryland Podcast Month is sponsoring the Maryland Podcast Awards. Winners will be announced on Wednesday (5/5).

Michael Harrison Embarks Upon Talk Media “Animal Tour.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has begun a series of talk media interviews on radio, TV, and in print in support of his new music album with the historic rock band Gunhill Road, What Year Is This! and the animal welfare anthem, “I Know You’re Real.” This past week, Harrison has appeared on the Jim Bohannon Show (Westwood One), the Harry Hurley Show (WPG, Atlantic City), “Sterling on Sunday” with Walter Sterling and “The Big Picture” with Holland Cooke on RT America (pictured above). Harrison and Cooke discussed animal welfare as well as the state of media and journalism in the digital era. To view the segment that ran this Friday evening (4/30) please click here. To view the music video version of “I Know You’re Real (spoken version)” featuring Harrison reciting the lyrics he wrote, please click here. Harrison will continue the tour into the spring. To book him on a talk show, please call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS at 413-565-5413.

Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Announces Non-Profit Status. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. organization announces that it has officially achieved designation as a 501(c)(3) charitable entity. The volunteer organization, formerly known as the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group, consists of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence, and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills. The benefits of this IRS structure include additional sponsorship options that will aid in expanding MIW’s reach, enhance mentoring opportunities and magnify MIW’s mission of strengthening radio’s next generation of female leadership. The MIWs have dedicated the past 20 years to this vision. Since its inception, the organization has published an annual Gender Analysis Study that tracks percentages of women placed in senior management roles. Additionally, MIW presents educational panels and networking opportunities at radio broadcasting conferences and collaborates with other industry groups aligned with furthering women’s careers in radio. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “Today’s announcement is the culmination of one of MIW’s most ambitious long-range goals. It could not have been done without the leadership of our board treasurer, Valerie Blackburn, and the pro bono work of Foster Garvey PC, we are indebted to them both. We are equally grateful to so many who volunteered their time and expertise to MIW, from the very beginning of the MIW Group in 2000, to those in subsequent years whose participation ensured the continuation of our organization. Each of these women, and men, along with our generous and loyal corporate sponsors, represents a unique and important brick in the MIW foundation.”

COVID-19, Border Crisis/Deadly San Diego Boat Accident, Biden’s ‘American Families Plan,’ Texas Special Congressional Election, Severe Weather in the South, and the NFL Draft Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID cases in the U.S., the vaccine rollout, and the skyrocketing death toll in India; the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the deadly boat accident near San Diego allegedly involving smuggling; President Joe Biden’s $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan”; two Republicans will face a runoff after beating the Democrat in the special election for Texas’ 6th Congressional District; severe weather in the South hits Tupelo, Mississippi and threatens more of the region today; and the 2021 NFL Draft were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

| April 29, 2021

RTDNA/Newhouse School: 2020 A Dangerous Year for Journalists. The annual survey of broadcast newsrooms from the RTDNA and the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University notes that during the past year, the job of seeking and reporting the truth became increasingly dangerous. “Journalists were threatened, assaulted and arrested at an alarming rate while on the job. We faced unprecedented levels of verbal and physical violence at the hands of civilians, police and the leaders we are meant to hold accountable.” This is the first year that the survey included a section on media safety. The survey’s research team says it wanted to understand how repeated, targeted acts of violence have impacted newsrooms across the country and learned that one in five television news directors reported attacks on employees. 86% of news directors changed newsroom procedures to protect employees. They purchased bullet-proof vests and gas masks and more often sent security teams with reporters. As far as radio is concerned, the study concludes, “Not surprisingly, the level of attacks at radio stations and on radio news people is much lower. Four percent of radio news directors and general managers reported attacks on newsroom employees. It was primarily a problem in major markets, with one million and more people, where 13.8% of news directors and general managers reported attacks on employees.” You can see the complete survey here. Commenting on the study, National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Broadcast journalists play an essential role in documenting pivotal moments in American history from the front lines. That has never been more important than during the past year. NAB is gravely troubled by this study reporting the unprecedented level of harassment, intimidation and violence directed at journalists covering the historical events of 2020. These unacceptable attacks on our nation’s free press undermine our very democracy by preventing journalists’ ability to report the facts and keep the public informed. We are grateful to the dedicated broadcast journalists bringing the truth to Americans during these dangerous times.”

Nick Craig to Host Mornings on WAAV-AM, Cape Fear. Beginning May 3, Nick Craig begins hosting “Wilmington’s Morning News with Nick Craig” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk/sports WAAV-AM, Cape Fear, North Carolina “980 The WAAV.” The station says the show is “a live and local morning show hosted by fresh conservative talk personality Nick Craig. The show focuses on the day’s biggest stories including Wilmington and the Cape Fear region. The show will feature a wide variety of topics, guests, and listener interaction.” Cumulus Wilmington VP and market manager Eric McCart comments, “We’re excited to have Nick join our 980 WAAV Cumulus family! He brings a fresh new energy and excitement to weekday mornings that our listeners will really enjoy. If it’s happening in Wilmington and the Cape Fear region, it’s happening on Wilmington’s Morning News with Nick Craig!” Craig adds, “Traveling on the road paved by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, I’m excited to bring the next generation of conservative talk to the Wilmington region and beyond. To be part of a legacy talk station like WAAV and Cumulus Media is quite the opportunity at my age. Looking forward to using these platforms to engage and interact with traditional talk listeners and the next generation.”

Ron Slay Joins WGFX-FM, Nashville’s Afternoon Drive Show. Nashville sports talker WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” announces that former University of Tennessee basketball star Ron Slay is joining the “3HL” afternoon drive program alongside current hosts Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport. Paul Mason is program director for the Cumulus Media station, and he says, “Our listeners have made it clear that they want us to hire Ron Slay. I am happy to say we listened, and we are thrilled Ron Slay will be joining Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport on ‘3HL.’ ‘3HL’ is already a great show and I look forward to seeing it go to even higher levels.” Slay comments, “I am both delighted and eager to join the ‘104.5 The Zone’ and ‘3HL’ families. I hope to bring joy, energy, and insight to Nashville sports enthusiasts each day.”

SiriusXM Reports 2021 Q1 Financials; Revenue Up 5%. Satellite radio and digital audio broadcaster SiriusXM releases its financial data for the first quarter of 2021 and reports total revenue of $2.06 billion, a 5% increase from the $1.95 billion reported during the same period a year ago. However, net income for the quarter was $219 million, a decline of 29% from the $293 million reported in Q1 of 2020. SiriusXM added 126,000 self-pay subscribers to hit its all-time high of 31 million self-pay subscribers. New chief executive officer Jennifer Witz comments, “I am pleased to announce SiriusXM has started the year impressively – we added 126,000 self-pay net subscribers, an 83% increase as compared to the period a year ago, saw a first quarter record-low churn rate of 1.6%, and are reporting a new record-high quarterly adjusted EBITDA figure.  These strong results reflect the value we bring to our listeners through the breadth and depth of our content. Our advertising revenue grew 24%, driven by robust monetization of both on- and off-platform opportunities, as well as the growing podcast market. While we are benefiting from the broader reopening of the economy and the acceleration of consumers’ digital adoption, the meaningful long-term investments we’ve been making are also paying off. This includes creating and delivering compelling content, strengthening our digital product experiences, and scaling a full suite of end-to-end distribution and monetization solutions for content creators and publishers. We are extremely focused on achieving our 2021 goals and reinforcing our long-term position as North America’s premier audio entertainment company. Across SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher, we have added new channels, shows, hosts, and podcasts, enhancing the expertly curated audio entertainment experience across all formats from music to sports… We are working with highly regarded creators on new podcasts; earlier this week we announced the acquisition of 99% Invisible, the acclaimed and popular podcast from Roman Mars and his creator team. This was our first year as the exclusive audio broadcaster of the Masters Tournament, and we have expanded our streaming rights with both the NBA and MLB. We also created special music and talk programming that honored both Black History and Women’s History months back-to-back.”

RAB Announces ‘Radio Works for Automotive’ Presentations. As part of RAB’s Business Accelerated initiative, it is presenting a two-part live series for May’s featured automotive category, one of radio’s most important advertising categories. The first presentation titled, “What’s Driving the Auto Industry?” takes place at 1:00 pm ET on May 19. As Americans return to school and work, the demand for vehicles grows. Parts shortages, as well as chip scarcity, are hindering inventory on lots and yet, auto sales remain high despite the supply-demand imbalance. In this presentation, hear from experts in both automotive and auto dealership industries including Tyson Jominy, vice president, data and analytics, J.D. Power, and Dick Parrish, dealership management consultant, NADA, who will share insights into the auto industry’s growth and challenges. The second live presentation will feature broadcasters discussing automotive client success stories to help sellers prospect and support their clients. The session, titled “Radio Works for Automotive Part 2,” takes place at 1:00 pm ET on May 26. The presentation will also be available for on-demand viewing. Both presentations are free for RAB members. You can register here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Media Sales Institute announces its strategic alliance with Media Staffing Network that will bring MSN’s media recruiter’s expertise to the MSI curriculum at the 2021 NABOB MSI, being held at the Atlanta University Center and hosted by Morehouse College from October 25 to November 4, 2021. Media Staffing Network founder and CEO Laurie Kahn comments, “With our tutelage, we can better prepare the MSI graduates to address the position for which they are applying. Sadly, many colleges and universities are not as up to date on what a recent graduate should include on their resumes. Nor do they teach their students how to best stand out and showcase their value when they have little to no work experience.”…..iHeartMedia and media personality Chelsea Handler have entered into a deal for a new podcast called “Dear Chelsea” to be produced as a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast.  The comedian, best-selling author, and television host will give listeners the opportunity to submit questions about life and get candid answers on the podcast. “Dear Chelsea” – also featuring Handler’s co-host and longtime assistant Brandon Marlo – debuts on May 6. Handler says, “iHeartRadio has been a great place for me to share all of my wild, unvarnished thoughts. I’m excited to start this journey with ‘Dear Chelsea’ to help people figure out what they need in life – I’m more than happy to be that kick in the pants or shove that will give someone a new perspective on a situation and help them to make a decision.”…..SiriusXM announces it is again offering listeners nationwide comprehensive coverage of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday (5/1). SiriusXM, through its broadcasting agreement with Horse Racing Radio Network, airs all Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Audio Network and produced in collaboration with HRRN.

Biden Addresses Congress, COVID-19, Police Violence, Fed Search Giuliani’s Home and Office, John Kerry Iran Allegation, Feds Investigate Direct Energy Attack, and Boris Johnson Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28). President Joe Biden’s address to Congress and his wide-ranging $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan”; the rate of COVID cases in the U.S., the rollout of vaccines, and the exploding cases in India; the spate of high-profile cases of deadly police violence against citizens; the FBI’s search of former NYC mayor and former Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s home and office in an investigation of his ties to Ukraine; the allegation that then-Secretary of State John Kerry shared Israeli military intelligence with Iran; the Pentagon’s investigation into a mysterious “direct energy attack” near the White House; and the scandal over Boris Johnson’s refurbishing of 10 Downing St. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

| April 28, 2021

Meadowlark Media and DraftKings Ink Big Deal for Content Distribution. The Miami Herald has the story about the new $40 million deal that Meadowlark Media – the company formed by former ESPN chief John Skipper and former ESPN personality Dan Le Batard – and DraftKings have entered into. According to the Herald, DraftKings is getting into the content distribution business and by June or early July will be responsible for getting Meadowlark’s flagship program “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” onto radio, television, podcast platforms, and social media. It will also serve as title sponsor. The paper reports that Meadowlark negotiated with several other companies including SiriusXM, NBC’s Peacock and iHeartMedia.  Le Batard told the Herald that didn’t want fans to have to climb a paywall for his show. “We didn’t want to do that to our listeners. The thing that I chose was freedom. Every time I’ve negotiated anywhere was for freedom, not money. This allows Meadowlark to be profitable from the start and have total freedom to do what we want. We can go forward and appear everywhere. We can make partnerships anywhere we want. We don’t have any corporate overlord. Our partner is our sponsor and what they are sponsoring is our freedom. The media landscape is changing very rapidly, and this shows how much power and value individuals can exert in breaking free from the corporate machine.” By summertime, Le Batard’s show – currently only available in podcast form – will be found in video formant on YouTube, Twitch, and DraftKings’ own nascent channel. The Herald adds that “the partnership will include DraftKings commissioning content projects and original programming that Meadowlark will develop and produce, including sports documentaries, as DraftKings broadens its sports entertainment footprint.”

Alpha Media Files Opposition to Larry Wilson’s Petition to Deny with FCC. As Alpha Media works to emerge from bankruptcy – approval for which it has received from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern Division of Virginia – it also needs approval from the Federal Communications Commission. But minority interest holders Larry Wilson and Paul Stone filed Petitions to Deny with the FCC, claiming that Alpha has failed to comply with FCC regulations regarding licensing of some of its stations and that the matter requires further review of foreign ownership interests, respectively. Alpha recently filed its opposition to the Petitions to Deny. In that filing’s summary, it says, “In short, when one peels away the bombast of Wilson’s Petition, it is clear that Wilson is inappropriately using the agency as a platform for rehashing his differences with certain members of the Company’s Board of Directors and management, and vainly attempting to shoehorn assessment of his personal grievances into the Commission’s processes under the guise of spurious claims that Alpha is unfit to hold its broadcast licenses. Moreover, his assertions are false. For Stone’s part, he simply criticizes the FCC’s well-established policy of promoting companies’ ability to promptly emerge from bankruptcy where further regulatory review of foreign ownership interests is required, a policy that is grounded in public interest considerations and comity with the bankruptcy laws. Neither Wilson nor Stone has standing as a party-in-interest. Any claims they had as holders of minority interests in Alpha pertaining to the Plan or to Alpha’s governance could and should have been presented to the Bankruptcy Court or the Delaware courts. While they inexplicably chose not to avail themselves of these alternative forums, they cannot now seek redress before the Commission. It has been black-letter law that the FCC does not adjudicate private contractual matters for far longer than the ‘more than 40 years’ that Wilson’s counsel has been ‘practic[ing] before the Commission,’ and the FCC has no reason to do so here.”

Westwood One Announces Executive Promotions. Three Westwood One staffers are promoted to new positions within the syndicator and sales firm’s programming and operations divisions. Twenty-eight-year Westwood One employee Susan Stephens is promoted to SVP and general manager, Westwood One programming. In this expanded role, Stephens will work to optimize programming and content opportunities and collaborations between news, talk, music, and entertainment. Tim Seymour rises to SVP, head of operations in which the 20-year WWO staffer assumes responsibility for the operations, partner relations, affiliate & sales operations, traffic & continuity, and research operations teams. Becky Bennett is elevated to VP, partner relations. Stephens and Seymour both report to Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes. Bennett will report to Seymour. Grimes says, “We have an enviable depth of talent within Westwood One with the unique experience to lead us forward. It is a privilege and a pleasure to announce these well-deserved promotions that will position us to succeed in 2021 and beyond.”

Edison’s Annual ‘Moms and Media’ Study Unveiled May 6. The results of the annual “Moms and Media” study from Edison Research will be revealed at a webinar being presented next Thursday (5/6) at 2:00 pm ET. Edison says, “This year’s ‘Moms and Media’ study provides insight on media usage, social media habits, and current outlook on tech by U.S. moms. Findings incorporate data from The Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital, as well as data from Edison Research’s new ongoing syndicated measurement of social media, The Social Habit. The 2021 report features data trends on devices, media engagement, and technology usage of U.S. moms. Highlights from this year’s study include: smart speaker ownership, podcast adoption, online audio listening, and social media engagement. In addition, the report will showcase brand new research centered on social media usage by U.S. moms and their children. You can register for the webinar here.

Former KMOX, St. Louis Personality Harry Hamm Sentenced in Child Porn Case. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that former longtime KMOX, St. Louis air personality Harry Hamm was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. The 79-year-old former entertainment editor for the radio station admitted that FBI investigators found child porn on two of his cell phones and his laptop. Hamm is also facing charges of second-degree statutory sodomy, incest and possession of child pornography in St. Louis County. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. The Post-Dispatch story says the St. Louis County charges stem from allegations of sexual contact with a 16-year-old. Hamm began his career with the station in 1975.

TALKERS News Notes. WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway is bringing two of the Navy SEALS who were on the mission that killed al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden to Des Moines for a fundraiser for the Puppy Jake Foundation that provides service dogs for combat-wounded veterans. Rob O’Neill – the SEAL who fired the shots that killed Bin Laden – and SEAL dog handler Will Chesney will take part in the June 18 event…..ABC News Radio is providing coverage of President Joe Biden’s address this evening and will begin with a one-hour special, “The Biden Presidency: The First 100 Days,” looking back at the start of the Biden administration. The program will air live on the radio network from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky. ABC News Radio will also provide live anchored coverage of President Biden’s speech, with reporting and analysis from ABC News’ team of correspondents and experts…..Public radio outlet WPLN, Nashville announces it has hired Caroline Eggers as the newsroom’s first environmental reporter. She starts her new position in June and will cover environmental issues with a focus on equity for WPLN News as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms across the U.S. to report on under-covered topics and communities. She comments, “WPLN News delivers essential stories with incredible intellect and empathy. I can’t wait to reflect these values while investigating Nashville’s climate action plan, air quality and infrastructure challenges.”

COVID-19, Biden’s 100 Days Address to Congress/$1.8 Trillion American Families Plan, Andrew Brown, Jr Protests/Police Violence, 2020 Census-House Seats, Critical Race Theory Controversy, John Kerry Iran Allegation, and Southern Border Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/27). The CDC’s new directives on mask wearing, the rollout of vaccines, and the high rate of cases in places like India and Brazil; this evening’s 100-day address to Congress by President Joe Biden and his $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan”; the protests of the police shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. and other cases of police violence; the results of the 2020 census and its impact on U.S. Rep seats; the controversy over “critical race theory” and its use in public schools curricula; the allegation that then-Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Israeli air strikes with Iran’s foreign minister; and the overwhelming number of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

| April 27, 2021

Shari Gonzalez Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Miami. Radio sales pro Shari Gonzalez is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Miami/Fort Lauderdale station group that includes news/talk WIOD, sports talk WINZ, WXBN “Black Information Network,” and eight music brands. She was most recently regional SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd says, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to promote Shari into her first market president role. In the short time that we have worked together, I have seen her competitiveness, work ethic and ability to move her team in the direction we need to go. Shari has the experience and smarts to make a great market president of iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale. She will be a great leader in one of our most important markets.” Gonzalez comments, “I am honored and thrilled for this opportunity. To continue to work with and now lead this incredible portfolio of brands and this ‘best-in-class’ team of talented, passionate colleagues is a dream come true. Miami/Fort Lauderdale is experiencing a boom like no other market in the country and the South Florida market is filled with a culture and uniqueness that is second to none. As our market continues to grow as a multi-cultural, global economic and entertainment destination, we at iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale remain committed to being the largest and most meaningful connection to millions in South Florida.”

‘The Rich Eisen Show’ Joins Audacy for Live Streaming and On-Demand Service. Sports media personality Rich Eisen enters into a content distribution partnership with Audacy to add his “The Rich Eisen Show” to the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” streams live daily from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. The show, as well as his new podcast, “Just Getting Started,” are available on-demand on the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” emanates from Los Angeles and is simulcast on NBC Sports on Peacock. Audacy EVP of programming Jeff Sottolano states, “Rich’s show is a terrific addition to our Audacy platform and reinforces our position as the unrivaled leader in local and national sports audio content. We’re thrilled to bring Rich’s mix of sports and culture to our audience, just in time for this week’s NFL Draft.”

Tricia Gallenback to Lead Cumulus Media’s Eugene Stations. Sales and management pro Tricia Gallenback is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group that includes news/talk KUGN-AM, sports talk KUJZ-FM, and three music brands. She most recently held the same position at Reno Media Group’s stations in Reno, Nevada. Prior to that she was director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina operations. Gallenback says, “It’s an exciting time to work in radio! Cumulus is a dynamic and innovative company and I’m honored that [Cumulus RVP] Don Morin invited me to join the talented team in Eugene. The Cumulus stations in Eugene are iconic brands and have a history of commitment to community and partnership success. I’m looking forward to discovering how much more we can accomplish together.”

Ernest Fears III Rises to Director of Sales at Radio One Washington, DC. Radio sales pro Ernest Fears III is promoted to director of sales for Radio One’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WTEM-AM “The Team 980” and news/talk WOL-AM/W240DJ. Fears was most recently general sales manager for the station group. Fears says, “During my 40 years in the business in the DC market, I’ve had the chance to work with so many professionals that I have learned from. If not for them, I would not stand where I am today. I look forward to paying forward the help and guidance that I received to my team and their clients.” Radio One senior regional vice president Jeff Wilson adds, “For decades, Ernie has been one of the most respected leaders in Washington, DC media.  But today, we celebrate his leadership and innovation moving forward as we blaze new trails while creating unprecedented solutions for our business partners.”

WWO Blog: What Changes in TV Viewing Mean for Radio. In this week’s Westwood One blog, chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard addresses the changes taking place in the television industry as viewers shift from linear TV to ad-free streaming options. This is a massive challenge for advertisers who’ve made TV a big part of their media plans. The piece is peppered with ominous stats, including: Nielsen’s just-released Total Audience Report reveals linear television’s weekly reach among persons 25-54 has dropped from 85% in Q3 2018 to only 77% in Q3 2020; pay TV lost 5.5 million subscribers in 2020; MoffettNathanson reports that residential penetration of traditional pay TV is down to 61% of occupied households. This is sharply reduced from pay TV’s peak 89% penetration in 2009; and according to MoffettNathanson, in Q4 2020, 67% of all broadcast network viewership was from the 50+ audience. So how does radio advertising play into this? Bouvard says that putting AM/FM radio in the plan generates triple the reach of connected TV – for example, adding 50 points of AM/FM radio to 250 points of TV (225 linear TV GRPs and 50 connected TV GRPs) generates a +24% increase in reach, triple the incremental reach lift that connected TV can add alone.

TALKERS News Notes. A deal between direct mail firm We Mail America.com and the Independent Broadcasters Association to “bring the We Mail America.com business model to independently owned radio markets of all sizes.” A press release says, “We Mail America.com is reinventing the traditional direct mail model by coupling it with a full suite of digital advertising services that works precisely and in conjunction with each radio ad campaign and mail deployment. This comprehensive view of advertising fortifies audio marketing strategies across all mediums, screens, and devices.” IBA president (and Adams Media CEO) Ron Stone says, “Independent radio has never had so many competitors, and direct mail is certainly one of them.  We Mail America.com brings a no-nonsense approach to direct mail and provides radio operators a new tool for their clients. The model that [We Mail America.com founder] Gary [Pizzati] has created enables independent stations to add a new source of revenue to their cluster that does not just move money from one pocket to the other.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals is expanding its longtime partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham to launch Shining City Audio, a podcast studio co-venture focused on creating a wide-ranging slate of audio documentaries and series centered around history with some of the most well-respected historians and voices joining at launch. The Shining City Audio initial 2021 slate features two new series written and narrated by Meacham: “Fate of Fact,” a limited-run series examining the question of how and why so many conservative Americans have become prone to disinformation and anti-democratic narratives, and a daily podcast focused on this day in history…..SiriusXM today announced that it has acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the company owned by Roman Mars, the creator, host, and executive producer of the “99% Invisible” podcast. The acquisition brings the podcast host and his team to SiriusXM, where they will continue to operate 99% Invisible, the podcast “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law,” and develop new podcast projects…..Observing the reaction to the “Saturday Night Live” cast’s befuddlement at the news that Elon Musk will host an upcoming episode of the sketch comedy show, KZRG, Joplin, Missouri program director Peter Thiele is inviting Musk to appear as guest host on “KZRG Morning News Watch.” He says, “Elon Musk is one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs! We are proud to invite him to be the guest host of the ‘KZRG Morning News Watch!’ Joplin, Missouri’s convenient location on two major freeways with a fantastic airport makes this offer even more tantalizing.”

COVID-19, Biden 100 Days Address, Deadly Police Shootings/Race Relations, Iran-Israel Tensions/John Kerry Allegation, Southern Border Crisis, Newsom Recall, and Oscars Show Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26). The rates of positive COVID cases in U.S. states, the rollout of and concerns about vaccines, and the overwhelming cases and deaths in India; President Joe Biden’s Wednesday address before Congress marking his first 100 days; protests over recent deadly police shootings of Black citizens and the call for a complete release of body camera video in the death of Andrew Brown Jr.; the military tensions between Iran and Israel and the allegation former Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Israeli air strikes with Iran’s foreign minister; the mass of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; petitioners gather enough signatures to put the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom on the ballot; and Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

March 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Four

| April 23, 2021

March 2021 PPM Data – Information for the March 2021 survey period has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford.

Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – 31.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as greatest (6+) gains and losses.

All comparisons noted are February 2021 – March 2021 (6+).

AUSTIN

News/Talk: Waterloo Media-operated KLBJ-AM “News Radio” 6.2 – 5.1, -1.1, remains at #4

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” 1.3 – 1.2, -.1, #19 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Texas-owned KUT 10.1 – 8.9, -1.2, second to third

Number One 6+: Waterloo Media-operated adult hits KBPA, first month, 8.5 – 9.3, +.8

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Spanish adult hits KLJA (+1.1)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KKMJ (-1.6)

 

RALEIGH

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WTKK “106.1 FM Talk” 6.0 – 5.2, -.8, fifth to sixth

Curtis Media Group-owned WPTF “News Radio 680” 2.3 – 2.0, -.3, #14 to #16

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “99.9 FM The Fan” 1.6 – 3.1, +1.5, #16 to #14

Public Radio News/Talk: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-owned WUNC 10.5 – 9.1, -1.4, repeating at #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk WUNC, fifth month in a row, 10.5 – 9.1, -1.4

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: sports talk WCMC (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WUNC (-1.4)

 

INDIANAPOLIS

News/Talk: Emmis’ WIBC “93.1 FM Indy’s Mobile News” 8.2 – 7.2, -1.0, steady at #3

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Emmis-owned WFNI “The Fan” 4.2 – 4.7,+.5, remains at #8

iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Fox Sports 1260” .5 – .6, +.1, flat at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI 5.7 – 5.1, -.6, steady at #7

Number One 6+: Cumulus Media adult hits WJJK, second straight month, 9.8 – 10.0, +.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: urban AC WTLC-FM (+.7)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WYXB (-2.2)

 

MILWAUKEE

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WISN “News Talk 1130” 9.4 – 8.0, -1.4, first to second

Good Karma Brands-owned WTMJ  “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” 6.0 – 5.6, -.4, unchanged at #5

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game” 1.0 – 1.1, +.1, steady at #18

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Wisconsin-owned WUWM 4.0 – 4.3, +.3, ninth to eighth

Number One 6+: Saga classic rock WKLH, first month, 8.7 – 8.8, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: rock WHQG (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WISN (-1.4)

 

NASHVILLE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” 6.7 – 6.9, +.2, third to fourth

iHeartMedia-owned WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” 2.0 – 1.7, -.3, flat at #17

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” 3.3 – 3.5, +.2, #11 to #12

Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “The Game” .7 – .8, +.1, #20 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM 5.4 – 4.0, -1.4, seventh to tenth

Number One 6+: Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK, third month in a row, 8.7 – 9.3, +.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country WSIX (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WPLN (-1.4)

 

PROVIDENCE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & WEAN “News Talk 630 AM & 99.7 FM” 5.9 – 5.1, -.8, fourth to fifth

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “1030 News Radio” 1.6 – 1.5, -.1, #14 to #15

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” 3.8 – 4.1, +.3, remains at #7

Audacy-owned WVEI “Sports Radio 103.7” flat at 2.8, tenth to ninth

Public Radio News/Talk: Rhode Island Public Radio-owned WNPN 2.8 – 2.7, -.1, flat at #10

WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH 3.4 – 2.6, -.8, #8 to #11

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia rock WHJY, third successive month, steady at 9.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WWLI (+1.6)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: country WCTK (-.9)

 

NORFOLK

News/Talk: Commonwealth Radio’s WNIS “News Talk AM 790” 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, eighth to tenth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Max Broadcast Group Holdings’ WVSP “ESPN 94.1 FM” 1.4 – 1.6, +.2, unchanged at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: Audacy urban AC WVKL, 29th consecutive month, steady at 13.4

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic rock WAFX (+.6)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: adult hits WNOB (-.9)

 

JACKSONVILLE

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM “104.5 Jacksonville’s News & Talk” 8.6 – 7.9, -.7, flat at #3

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: WJCT, Inc.-owned WJCT  6.5 – 5.6, -.9, fourth to seventh

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL, first month, 9.0 – 9.6, +.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Three tied with +.6 (classic hits-oldies WJGL; urban AC WSOL; and urban contemporary WJBT)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WJCT (-.9)

 

WEST PALM BEACH

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WJNO “News Radio 1290” 3.4 – 3.1, -.3, eighth to ninth

Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WFTL “News Talk 850” 2.2 – 2.1, -.1, #14 to #13

iHeartMedia’s WZZR “92.1 Real Radio” 1.0 – 1.9, +.9, #20 to #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, sixth to seventh

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF, 12th straight month, 8.5 – 8.4, -.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies WEAT (+1.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Spanish contemporary WZTU (-1.3)

 

GREENSBORO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WPTI “News Talk 94.5” 4.2 – 3.5, -.7, flat at #9

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Curtis Media Group-owned WSJS & WPCM 600 AM & 920 AM” .5 – .4, -.1, remains at #15

Public Radio News/Talk: Wake Forest University’s WFDD 3.8 – 3.5, -.3, tenth to ninth

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-owned WUNC 2.3 – 1.7, -.6, #12 to #13

Number One 6+: Audacy urban AC WQMG, third successive month, 11.2 – 11.5, +.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: rhythmic CHR WJMH (+1.3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WPTI (-.7)

 

MEMPHIS

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WREC “News Talk 600 AM” 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, steady at #8

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WMFS “Sports Radio 92.9” 3.4 – 3.0, -.4, #9 to #11

Co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790 AM” .4 – .2, -.2, flat at #18

WMFS’ internet stream .6 – .2, -.4, #16 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO 2.9 – 2.0, -.9, #12 to #13

WKNO-HD2’s internet stream .4 – .2, -.2, stays at #18

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, first month, 9.4 – 9.5, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WRVR (+1.6)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: gospel WHAL (-1.6)

 

HARTFORD

News/Talk: Audacy’s WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” 6.2 – 5.7, -.5, fourth to seventh

Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut” 1.0 – .7, -.3, #15 to #16

iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410 AM & 100.9 FM” .0 – .2, +.2, #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WUCS “97.9 ESPN” 1.4 – 1.3, -.1, flat at #13

Public Radio News/Talk: Connecticut Educational Communications’ WNPR 6.8 – 7.2, +.4, third to second

New England Public Media’s WFCR .2 – .4, +.2, #16 to #18

Number One 6+: Audacy adult contemporary WRCH, 12th month in a row, 13.9 – 13.8, -.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country WWYZ (+1.3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies WHCN (-1.4)

 

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

 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

| April 22, 2021

KFAB, Omaha Fires Chris Baker After Tweeting of Racist Image. A day after tweeting an image of Black natives in loincloths and holding spears with the caption “Guilty!” in the immediate aftermath of the Derek Chauvin verdict, iHeartMedia has fired KFAB, Omaha afternoon drive talk host Chris Baker, according to a piece in the Lincoln Journal Star.  iHeartMedia area president for Nebraska C. Taylor Walet III said in a statement the tweet was “completely inappropriate and unacceptable. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously. Accordingly, Chris Baker’s employment with our company has been terminated.” Baker told the Journal Star that although he doesn’t expect people to believe his explanation, he says he was multi-tasking and searching for an image of “people celebrating” and inadvertently posted the image that he did. He added, “That’s not me, that’s not who I really am. There’s a difference between being intentional and being a fat-fingered boomer on Twitter. I don’t look at Black people that way.” On Wednesday, “Producer Josh” Odson and “Bird,” a.k.a. Meghan Bird, hosted the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on KFAB.

Premiere Networks and EIB Network Launch ‘Rush Limbaugh: The Man Behind the Golden EIB Microphone’ Podcast Series. This 12-episode podcast is narrated by Rush Limbaugh’s longtime call-screener and “official show observer” James Golden, a.k.a., Bo Snerdley. Premiere Networks says, “The 12-episode series will detail legendary radio host Rush Limbaugh’s award-winning, 30-plus year career in radio that revitalized the spoken-word format and provided a platform for him to develop and lead modern conservatism in America. Featuring Limbaugh’s own words and never-before-heard stories shared by colleagues, friends and family, the series will give listeners a guided tour of the five-time Marconi Award winner’s historic journey from Cape Girardeau, Mo., to becoming the No. 1 talk radio host in America. The series will also highlight Limbaugh’s lasting legacy, which includes ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’s’ continued dominance as the most-listened-to talk radio program in the U.S.” Golden says, “The only blessing greater than working with Rush was knowing the man that he truly was. It is not only my honor, but also my duty, to help ensure his legacy is properly acknowledged. I want to thank Premiere Networks and the EIB Network for allowing me this profound opportunity.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott adds, “We look forward to sharing this incredible series with millions of Rush Limbaugh fans. Those who knew Rush best will provide an insider’s look at his life and career, providing a true celebration and tribute to the greatest talk radio host of all time.” You can hear a trailer for the series that launches on May 12 here.

Audacy’s WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre Announces New Lineup; Local Hosts Nikki Stone and Bob Cordaro Join Air Staff. Northeastern Pennsylvania news/talk brand “WILK News Radio” – WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre; WODS-AM, West Hazleton; WAAF-AM, Scranton – adds two personalities to its re-tooled daily lineup. Market radio pro Nikki Stone joins the station as host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and former Lackawanna County commissioner Bob Cordaro is the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host. Jason Barsky co-hosts the morning show “The Morning News with Nancy and Jason” alongside Nancy Kman and Frank Andrews continues to be heard from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Audacy SVP and market manager Ryan Flynn states, “We’re really excited to introduce this enhanced slate of programming to our listeners as we focus on the issues that matter most to Northeast PA. Nikki brings a breadth of experience in this market which we think will quickly build a sense of trust between her and our audience. Bob Cordaro, also someone with deep local roots, is an expert on the area, the people, and local politics. I trust his candor and connection with our audience will quickly translate to a successful afternoon show.” Stone has been a traffic reporter and host on the station since 2017. She says, “Northeast PA has always been home to me. I’m excited about this chance to open up conversation, talk about the issues that matter, and have a little fun with the people I consider neighbors and friends.” Cordaro comments, “I am incredibly honored to become part of the team at WILK and Audacy. While it is a daunting task to replace the great Rush Limbaugh in Northeast PA, I feel privileged to be able to do so. I want to thank our management team here in Scranton Wilkes-Barre as well as everyone at Audacy for giving me this opportunity. We are going to have a lot of fun promoting a conservative commonsense agenda that works for the people of this area and our country.”

Round Three of March PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – March 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland slips three-tenths to a 5.7 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and falls from the #2 rank to #4. In Charlotte, Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM loses a half share, finishing the March survey with a 5.0 share good for the #5 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s San Antonio news/talk WOAI-AM falls from the #2 rank to #7 after dropping 1.7 shares for a 5.0 share finish. In Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s KSL-FM sheds two-tenths to wrap the survey with a 6.8 share putting it in the #3 rank while iHeartMedia’s crosstown KNRS-AM/FM loses a half share and finishes with a 6.5 share and the #4 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (as well and the first two rounds) here.

Radio’s Rob Carson Hosting ‘The Newsmax Daily’ for Newsmax Media. Radio pro Rob Carson has been working with Newsmax for some time now, but now the company officially launches the podcast “The Newsmax Daily with Rob Carson.” Newsmax says, “With ‘The Newsmax Daily’ you’ll get the latest top news with Rob Carson’s wit and wisdom to help you understand the events shaping our lives. Rob holds little back – and tries to find the humor in even the most frightening of news developments – especially when they emanate from the Biden-Harris White House!” Carson also hosts the TV program, “Rob Carson’s What in the World?” which airs Saturdays on Newsmax TV. Carson’s talk radio career includes stops in markets including: Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Nashville, Phoenix, Minneapolis, New York City, and Baltimore.

Cumulus Media Re-Brands Westwood One Podcast Network. Effective May 6, the Westwood One Podcast Network becomes the CUMULUS PODCAST NETWORK. Cumulus says the move “consolidates the Company’s national and local podcasts into one entity, capturing the full breadth and diversity of the portfolio and providing advertisers with a comprehensive offering of podcasts, in addition to streaming, mobile, social and display.” Suzanne Grimes, executive vice president corporate marketing and president, Westwood One, will retain responsibility for the Company’s podcast sales network. She says, “Placing our podcasts under the Cumulus umbrella allows us to offer our advertising partners easy access to the company’s full arsenal of digital products. This exciting expansion takes our fast-growing podcast network to the next level, as well as simplifies the buying process for agencies and brands, allowing our partners to seamlessly tap into the full power of our premium on-demand audio content.”

Nielsen: March PPM Data Reveals Big Audience Gains. According to data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey radio has achieved significant gains in radio listening across the aggregate of markets, to the tune of an 8% increase month-over-month in total AQH audience. This marks the largest single-month increase in average audience since June of last year. These gains were driven by increases in both weekly reach (adding nearly 4 million consumers in March – a 3% increase versus February) as well as time spent listening (gaining by over 20 minutes – on average –a 5% increase compared with last month). Nielsen adds that the year-over-year comparison between the March 2020 and March 2021 PPM stands at a 96 index for weekly reach and a 93 index for AQH. This means that from a weekly reach perspective, the radio audience in March 2021 is 96% the size of the same month from one year ago, while for AQH the number is 93%. This uptick in radio usage mirrors the positive changes in consumer sentiment and habits observed during Nielsen’s latest radio consumer study conducted during the March survey. Six in 10 Americans are now ‘ready to go’ and feeling life is becoming more normal in their city or town. Those working outside the home have increased nearly 70% since last April, while consumers spending more than an hour each day in a vehicle has more than doubled in that time. Heavy radio listeners, because they are more mobile and ‘ready to go’, are also more likely to engage in top activities including shopping for groceries, driving longer distances, ordering take-out, and getting together in-person with friends and family, particularly among those who are vaccinated.

Gene “Bean” Baxter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Former KROQ, Los Angeles radio superstar Gene Baxter is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Known to his legion of fans by the nickname, “Bean,” he co-hosted (with Kevin Ryder) a wildly popular morning show called “Kevin & Bean” that ran on the legendary alt rock station for three decades and landed both performers in the Radio Hall of Fame. Then he announced his retirement from the show and moved to England (where he was born and raised as a young child) to get away from the pressures of the LA radio industry and his openly expressed distaste for the tone and direction of American politics. At present, now back in Great Britain, he co-hosts a show on Podcast Radio in London with another former KROQ broadcaster from his Kevin & Bean days – Allie Mac Kay – titled, “A Cup of Tea and a Chat with Allie & Bean.” Harrison and Bean take a deep dive into the worlds of the radio industry’s quirky culture and the increasingly harsh politics of modern times. Radio enthusiasts should not miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Chauvin Verdict Aftermath/Ohio Police Shooting, COVID-19, Biden’s Climate Summit, Florida’s ‘Anti-Riot’ Law, Border Crisis/Immigration Reform, and Putin Threatens West Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/21). The aftermath of the Derek Chauvin verdict and the case of the fatal shooting of knife-wielding teen Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio; the disparate rate of COVID-19 cases in various U.S. states, the rollout of vaccines, and the exploding cases in India; President Joe Biden’s climate summit and commitment to halving U.S. greenhouse emissions by 2030; the controversy surrounding Florida’s new “anti-riot” law that allows motorists to hit people blocking public roads; the migrant crush at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; and Vladimir Putin’s vague threat against the West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

| April 21, 2021

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 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 2021 survey period covered March 4 – 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets and he reports that in the Washington, DC market Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM loses 2.1 shares from the February to March surveys and finishes with a 3.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) dropping from the #4 rank to #9, while Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #2, although it shed nine-tenths for a 9.0 share finish. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO stays in the #8 rank while posting a 4.4 share, a decline of eight-tenths while sister all-news WBZ-AM slips 1.1 shares to a 6.4 share and slides from the #1 rank to #4. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle remains ranked #1 even though it lost nine-tenths and wrapped the survey with a 6.4 share. And Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle lost just two-tenths and stayed in the #5 spot with a 5.0 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (and yesterday’s group of 12) here.

Tweet by KFAB, Omaha Talk Host Chris Baker Draws Criticism; Station ‘Reviewing it Internally.’ According to a story published by the Omaha World-Herald, KFAB-AM afternoon drive talk host Chris Baker is being criticized for posting an image of a small group of Black natives in loincloths and brandishing spears with the caption, “Guilty!” immediately following the verdict against Derek Chauvin. Although the tweet was removed, it was screen captured and iHeartMedia management was made aware of it. iHeartMedia area president C. Taylor Walet III, told the paper the situation is under review by the company. He stated, “We are aware of the completely inappropriate tweet that was posted late Tuesday afternoon. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values. We take this situation very seriously and are reviewing it internally in order to take appropriate action.”

Markley, Van Camp & Robbins Approach 100 Affiliate Stations Threshold. The Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, Van Camp & Robbins” talk radio program is rapidly approaching the 100-affiliate station mark after adding some two dozen new affiliates including 17 live clears. The program – co-hosted by Jamie Markley, David Van Camp, and Scott Robbins – was recently added to stations in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot at stations such as: WLAD-AM, Danbury, Connecticut; KPNW-AM, Eugene, Oregon; KJNO-AM, Juneau, Alaska; KMED-AM, Medford, Oregon; WMBD-AM, Peoria, Illinois; WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw, Michigan; and more. WSGW-AM/FM operations manager Dave Maurer comments, “The live ‘Markley, Van Camp and Robbins’ show is making a positive contribution to the programming of 100.5 & 790 Newsradio WSGW! The guys get on the hot topics of the day, but they also know when to take the off ramp and add some entertaining elements to the show. I’m confident they are bringing us a broader audience including younger listeners and more women.” Alpha Media EVP of content Phil Becker adds, “‘Markley, van Camp and Robbins’ have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor. This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”

WFAS-AM to Broadcast with All-Digital Signal. White Plains, New York talk station WFAS-AM receives permission from the FCC to broadcasting its signal in a digital format and eliminate the analog broadcast format. The Cumulus Media station posted the following on its website: “In October 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a new rule allowing AM radio stations to operate using all-digital broadcast signals. 1230 WFAS-AM, licensed to White Plains, New York, has notified the FCC of its intention to switch from its current analog operation to all digital beginning on May 24th, 2021. Once WFAS has switched to an all-digital operation, only radios equipped with HD radio technology will be able to receive and play the station programming. WFAS will no longer be available on analog-only AM radios. Broadcasting in digital will eliminate annoying static and interference, improve the sound quality to equal FM radio and streaming and extend the range for clear reception.”

Political Voices Network and Counterpoint Partner to Provide Multi-Platform Home for Political Humor. A new partnership between Political Voices Network – an audio-and-video destination for political talk from popular hosts such as Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmannand Counterpoint – a source for the latest political humor from top opinion cartoonists such as Pulitzer recipients Nick Anderson, Darrin Bell, Michael Ramirez as well as the Washington Post’s Michael de Adder – are joining forces to provide news junkies a twice-weekly side order of cartoon humor alongside their political-talk diets. Cartoons will be presented every Tuesday and Thursday with text-based commentary from the artists. New York- and Los Angeles-based Crossover Media Group Sales handles advertising and sponsorship sales for Political Voices Network. Political Voices Network co-founder Ron Hartenbaum says, “One of the most enduring and popular aspects of political opinion and commentary has been that great and especially American tradition of the political cartoon. The combined objective for Counterpoint and Political Voices Network is to expand both the audience for this top-flight creative content and fan sponsorship and support of this format. Thanks to this alliance we’ll be able to entertain fans with a service that blends seamlessly with our existing multiplatform offerings in a convenient destination for multi-format viewpoints on the day’s news.”

Three Award-Winning Content Creators Join New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announces the appointment of award-winning global storytellers Jennie Caltaldo, Helen Shaw, and Carole Zimmer to the Radio Awards Advisory Board. The 13-member Advisory Council provides NYF’s Radio Awards competition with ongoing knowledge of emerging trends and critical industry insights. Jennie Cataldo is an award-winning radio and podcast producer who serves as vice president of programming at BMP Audio in San Francisco. Helen Shaw is an award-winning producer/director who runs digital and broadcast storytelling agency Athena Media in Ireland. Carole Zimmer, reporter-at-large, is the host of the podcast “Now What?” about big life decisions, transitions and how you navigate all those curves in the road. The three also serve on the 2021 Radio Awards Grand Jury. This year is the eleventh year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show and all convention attendees will have access to the multi-day NAB event which is the world’s largest media entertainment marketplace and takes place in October 2021. The deadline to enter the 2021 Radio Awards competition is May 20. Find information about entering the competition here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Independent Broadcasters Association, Feeding America, and 375 radio stations partnered to hold the 2nd annual “Radio Cares – Feeding America Radiothon” on April 14 that raised $40,000 to provide 400,000 meals for individuals and families facing hunger in America. IBA president and Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone comments, “Hunger in America escalated because of the pandemic and there are families still struggling to put food on the table. I’m very proud of the stations that participated again. The work that Benztown, McVay Media, and Vipology put into this effort is unmatched – they truly define the word volunteerism!”…..The impactful mentoring message of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America will be highlighted on more than 850 live broadcast radio stations as the result of  a new partnership between the organization and iHeartMedia. iHM selected BBBSA for its Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program, the goal of which is to provide a platform for organizations to inspire, educate, and empower listeners to take a stand against systemic racism and promote social justice. Yesterday (4/20), a series of PSAs featuring voices of current youth (called “Littles”) began airing on iHeartRadio stations and the iHeartRadio app focusing on the need for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors, and most especially Black men. The campaign runs through the end of the year…..The USA Radio Network-syndicated “Dan Sileo Radio Show” sports talk program is added to the lineup at KXEG-AM, Phoenix.

Delmarva Radio Personality Wayne Cannon Dies at 72. Longtime Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland music radio personality and talk show host Wayne Cannon died on Monday (4/19) at the age of 72 after a battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. After a stint in the Army, Cannon got his start in the early 70s at WETT-Ocean City, Maryland. He moved to WWTR, Bethany Beach, Delaware, then WSEA-AM, Georgetown, Delaware before returning to WETT. He joined WGMD, Rehoboth Beach in 1993 and served there for 20 years but continued to make contributions for another seven years.

Chauvin Guilty Verdict, COVID-19, Border Crisis/Immigration Policy, and EU Climate Deal/U.S. Climate Summit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). The guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the exploding rate of COVID cases in several countries and the rollout of vaccines in the U.S.; Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s deploying of National Guard troops to the Mexican border to respond to the migrant crisis and the Joe Biden administration’s immigration policy; and the EU agrees to a climate deal ahead of Biden’s Thursday climate summit that will include China’s Xi Jinping were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Pens Lyrics to Animal Welfare Anthem – Appears on New Gunhill Road Album and Video. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has been an outspoken supporter of the animal welfare movement for most of his adult life. Now he has the opportunity to express his views on the subject through his lyrics and performance of a song titled, “I Know You’re Real,” on the latest album by the historic group, Gunhill Road, that has roots going back to the golden age of album rock. The album is titled, What Year Is This! and it was produced by the band with remote technology during the pandemic year of 2020. In the process, Harrison has become an official member as a vocalist and songwriter of the long-lived band that has been in existence since 1969. Harrison tells TALKERS, “I go all the way back to 1971 with this great NYC-based ensemble when I played them every day on my morning show on WNEW-FM. They had two albums in that era that received critical praise and lots of airplay on FM album rock stations. They also had a hit single on top 40 radio – ‘Back When My Hair Was Short’ – in the early 70s. They had the reputation in those days as being the ‘best opening act’ in the NYC album rock club scene and appeared on the bill with some of the biggest names in music at such historic venues as the Bitter End.” Since then, the members of the group kept its spirit (and fan base) alive by continuing to record, release new material and play occasional concerts. Their longevity was the subject of a documentary feature film about the group that made a splash on the film festival circuit and was carried on Amazon Prime. Although the founding members eventually went in different directions (and successful careers) in their private lives, they kept the spirit of Gunhill Road alive through the decades by remaining very close friends and appearing sporadically at special events and charity concerts. The lyrics of the song “I Know You’re Real,” written by Harrison and performed by him in a spoken-word presentation on the new album and video, take an emotionally uplifting view of the connection between humans, animals, and the entire universe. There are two versions of the song on the album and video. The other features band member Brian Koonin singing the lyrics. Both versions have been posted to YouTube. The version spoken by Harrison can be viewed below

Harrison says, “The song is a spiritually uplifting tribute to animal welfare… which has long been one of my main interests and guiding themes of my life. If you have love and respect for all of Earth’s sentient creatures, please take a look and listen to the song and share the link with friends who might enjoy and appreciate them as well.” Harrison is available to appear as a guest on talk media shows to discuss the subject of animal welfare (not to be confused with animal rights) as well as what it was like to record with a band via Zoom during the pandemic. To book Michael Harrison on a talk show please call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS, 413-565-5413. To read a feature story about Gunhill Road and this experience written by Harrison, please click here.

March 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| April 21, 2021

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

Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 survey period covered March 4 – 31.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as highest (6+) positive spikes and sharpest declines.

All comparisons noted are February 2021 – March 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” 6.0 – 3.9, -2.1, fourth to ninth

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 9.9 – 9.0, -.9, flat at #2

Audacy business news WDCH “99.1 & 105.7-HD2 Bloomberg Radio” 1.2 – 1.1, -.1, unchanged at #19

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” 1.4 – 1.7, +.3, steady at #18

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 10.2 – 9.7, -.5, repeating at #1

Pacifica Foundation’s public radio news/talk – jazz WPFW 1.2 – 1.1, -.1, steady at #19

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk WAMU, third straight month, 10.2 – 9.7, -.5

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country WMZQ (+.8)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WMAL (-2.1)

 BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 5.2 – 4.4, -.8, flat at #8

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 7.5 – 6.4, -1.1, first to fourth

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” 6.1 – 6.9, +.8, fourth to second

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” 3.3 – 3.0, -.3, #10 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University‘s WBUR 4.4 – 4.6, +.2, ninth to seventh

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 5.6 – 4.4, -1.2, sixth to eighth

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR, second month in a row, 7.5 – 7.7, +.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: sports talk WBZ-FM (+.8)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WGBH (-1.2)

 

MIAMI

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” unchanged at 2.6, remains at #13

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” flat at 2.2, steady at #17

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 4.3 – 3.7, -.6, seventh to eighth

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ, sixth successive month, unchanged at 9.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Two tied at +.6 (urban AC WHQT and urban contemporary WEDR)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WLRN (-.6)

 

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” 7.3 – 6.4, -.9, repeating at #1

Co-owned KTTH “AM 770 Conservative Talk Radio” 2.8 – 2.6, -.2, #16 to #18

News: Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 5.2 – 5.0, -.2, remains at #5

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” 2.6 – 2.7, +.1, #18 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 6.7 – 5.6, -1.1, second to third

Number One 6+: news/talk KIRO-FM, fifth consecutive month, 7.3 – 6.4, -.9

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country KNUC (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KUOW (-1.1)

 

DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 4.8 – 4.3, -.5, eighth to tenth

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” 5.0 – 4.6, -.4, fifth to eighth

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” flat at 4.9, seventh to sixth

Public Radio News/Talk: Wayne State University-owned WDET 2.5 – 2.2, -.3, remains at #16

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies WOMC, first month, 6.2 – 7.2, +1.0

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies WOMC (+1.0)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WNIC (-.8)

 

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 5.3 – 4.5, -.8, third to fifth

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, eighth to ninth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” flat at 2.4, steady at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 3.5 – 3.8, +.3, ninth to eighth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, fifth straight month, 7.1 – 6.4, -.7

Largest 6+ February 2021- March 2021 Increase: Two tied at +.7 (classic rock KSLX and country KMLE)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk KFYI (-.8)

 

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO News Talk 830” 4.7 – 5.0, +.3, ninth to eighth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” flat at 4.0, #12 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” 7.4 – 6.7, -.7, remains at #3

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 8.5 – 7.1, -1.4, steady at #2

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM, second straight month, 9.8 – 9.2, -.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Three tied at +.8 (classic hits-oldies KQQL; adult hits KZJK; and urban-rhythmic oldies KTCZ-HD3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KNOW (-1.4)

 

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” 5.3 – 5.4, +.1, fifth to fourth

Los Angeles sibling KFI “AM 640” 2.2 – 1.9, -.3, remains at #17

Co-owned KGB-AM “760 AM” 1.9 – 1.8, -.1, #18 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” 1.4 – 1.6, +.2, #21 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 6.4 – 6.3, -.1, repeats at #1

Number One 6+ (Tie): public radio news/talk KPBS, second successive month, 6.2 – 6.4, +.2 and Audacy classic hits-oldies KXSN, first month, 6.2 – 6.3, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: hot AC KMYI (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: classic rock KGB-FM (-.8)

 

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 5.1 – 4.2, -.9, fourth to ninth

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 3.8 – 3.9, +.1, #11 to #10

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” 2.0 – 1.6, -.4, unchanged at #19

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 3.4 – 3.3, -.1, steady at #14

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV, 105th month in a row, 7.0 – 8.5, +1.5

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WDUV (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian WCIE (-1.6)

 

DENVER

 News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 3.1 – 2.6, -.5, #11 to #12

Co-owned KOA “News Radio 850” 2.0 – 2.2, +.2, steady at #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 2.8 – 2.2, -.6, #13 to #15

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 7.1 – 6.1, -1.0, remains at #2

Number One 6+: Bonneville country KYGO, second straight month, 7.4 – 6.8, -.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Two tied with +1.0 (jazz KUVO and triple A KJAC)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KCFR (-1.0)

 

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” 4.2 – 4.0, -.2, eighth to seventh

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 3.4 – 2.9, -.5, #12 to #13

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” unchanged at 3.0, #13 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 4.3 – 2.9, -1.4, #7 to #13

American University-owned WAMU 1.2 – 1.3, +.1, #19 to #17

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, third successive month, 9.4 – 10.0, +.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult hits WQSR (+.7)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WYPR (-1.4)

 

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” 4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11

Co-owned KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #13 to #14

KFTK’s internet stream 1.4 – .7, -.7, #18 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #12 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 3.2 – 3.0, -.2, flat at #15

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, third month in a row, 12.4 – 12.8, +.4

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: CHR KSLZ (+.6)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Three tied with -.7 (news/talk KFTK’s internet stream; classic hits-oldies KLOU; and hot AC KYKY)

 

Up next: March  2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

March 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| April 20, 2021

March 2021 PPM Data – Information for the March 2021 ratings period has been released for 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.

Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – 31.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are February 2021 – March 2021 (6+).

NEW YORK

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 2.5 – 2.3, -.2, flat at #14

Red Apple Media-owned WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” (1.9, #19, February 2021) to unlisted

News: Audacy’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 3.6 – 3.4, -.2, ninth to seventh

Co-owned WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” 2.8 – 2.6, -.2, #13 to #12

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” 2.5 – 2.4, -.1, #14 to #13

Emmis-owned WEPN-FM “98.7 ESPN New York” 1.0 – 1.1, +.1, #19

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 4.5 – 4.3, -.2, fifth to fourth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, fifth successive month, 6.8 – 7.1, +.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (+1.0)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Two tied with -.9 (Spanish contemporary WXNY and Spanish tropical WSKQ)

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFI “AM 640” 5.0 – 5.7, +.7, third to second

News: Audacy-owned KNX “1070 News Radio” 2.9 – 3.4, +.5, #12 to #9

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Pasadena Area Community College’s KPCC 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #9 to #11

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies KRTH, second straight month, 5.9 – 6.1, +.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: news/talk KFI (+.7)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Four tied with -.3 (news talk KEIB; adult contemporary KOST; country KKGO; and Spanish contemporary KLLI)

CHICAGO

News/Talk: Nexstar Media Group’s WGN “Radio 720” 4.1 – 3.5, -.6, sixth to ninth

News: Audacy-owned WBBM-AM & WCFS “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” 7.1 – 6.2, -.9, first to second

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WSCR “670 The Score” 2.1 – 2.4, +.3, #17 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: Chicago Public Media-owned WBEZ 6.4 – 4.7, -1.7, second to fourth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ, first month, 6.0 – 6.3, +.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WRME-LP (+1.2)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WBEZ (-1.7)

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KGO “810” 1.7 – 1.8, +.1, #19 to #20

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 7.5 – 6.8, -.7, flat at #2

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” 2.9 – 3.2, +.3, ninth to seventh

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 10.6 – 9.8, -.8, repeats at #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, third straight month, 10.6 – 9.8, -.8

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Four tied with +.3 (sports talk KNBR; Spanish adult hits KBRG; hot AC KIOI; and rhythmic CHR KYLD)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk news KQED (-.8)

DALLAS

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned WBAP “News Talk 820 AM & 99.5 HD-2 FM” 4.0 – 3.0, -1.0, #10 to #14

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s KTCK “Sports Radio The Ticket” 4.1 – 2.6, -1.5, #9 to #17

Audacy-owned KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” 1.9 – 2.0, +.1, #21 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: North Texas Public Broadcasting-owned KERA 3.2 – 3.1, -.1, #15 to #13

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE, second month in a row, 5.2 – 5.3, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Three tied with +.6 (regional Mexican KLNO; country KSCS; and Spanish contemporary KDXX)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: sports talk KTCK (-1.5)

HOUSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 News Radio” 6.5 – 5.8, -.7, second to fourth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Houston-owned KUHF 2.9 – 2.8, -.1, unchanged at #17

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA, fifth successive month, 7.5 – 7.7, +.2

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: regional Mexican KLTN (+.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk KTRH (-.7)

ATLANTA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group-owned WSB-AM & WSBB “Atlanta’s News & Talk” 10.5 – 9.2, -1.3, #1

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WZGC “92.9 The Game” 3.7 – 3.6, -.1, seventh to tenth

Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN “The Fan” 1.7 – 1.5, -.2, #16 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE 3.2, #11, unlisted in February 2021

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM, 22nd consecutive month, 10.5 – 9.2, -1.3

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: urban contemporary WVEE (+1.1)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news/talk WSB-AM (-1.3)

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 2.0 – 2.1, +.1, remains at #17

Audacy-owned WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” 1.8 – 1.5, -.3, flat at #19

News: Audacy’s KYW & WPHI “News Radio 1060 AM & 103.9 FM” 6.5 – 6.0, -.5, steady at #3

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” unchanged at 5.3, sixth to fifth

Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” 2.5 – 2.1, -.4, #15 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY’s WHYY 5.2 – 4.6, -.6, seventh to ninth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM, third straight month, 8.0 – 8.1, +.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: country WXTU (+1.0)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Two tied with -.6 (public radio news/talk WHYY and rock WMMR)

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 3.2 – 3.4, +.2, #13 to #11

News: Audacy’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 3.0 – 2.7, -.3, #14 to #13

Co-owned WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” 3.5 – 2.6, -.9, #10 to #15

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” steady at 4.0, sixth to seventh

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WNYC-FM 2.1 – 2.4, +.3, #19 to #16

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group classic rock WBAB, first month, 5.2 – 6.1, +.9

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic rock WBAB (+.9)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news WCBS-AM (-.9)

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFI “AM 640” 5.4 – 5.0, -.4, second to third

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: San Bernardino Community College’s KVCR flat at .8, steady at #19

Pasadena Area Community College-owned KPCC .4 – .5, +.1, unchanged at #20

Number One 6+: Entravision Communications Spanish adult hits KLYY, seventh month in a row, 6.5 – 6.4, -.1

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KOLA (+1.3)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Four tied with -.4 (news/talk KFI; adult contemporary KOST; regional Mexican KSCA; and urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE)

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s KGO “810” flat at 2.0, #12 to #11

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 5.1 – 4.1, -1.0, fourth to sixth

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” 1.3 – 1.8, +.5, #19 to #14

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 12.0 – 11.3, -.7, repeats at #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, third straight month, 12.0 – 11.3, -.7

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Four tied with +.5 (sports talk KNBR; classic rock KUFX; hot AC KEZR; and hot AC KLLC)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: Two tied with -1.0 (news KCBS-AM & KFRC and adult contemporary KOIT-FM)

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: Townsquare Media-owned WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, flat at #6

iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 2.1 – 1.9,-.2, unchanged at #20

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” steady at 2.5, remains at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 3.4 – 3.1, -.3, #10 to #12

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ, third month in a row, 8.1 – 8.7, +.6

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Increase: Spanish tropical WSKQ (+1.5)

Largest 6+ February 2021 – March 2021 Decrease: news WCBS-AM (-1.0)

 

Up next: March 2021 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

| April 15, 2021

Audacy Extends Contract with CFO Richard Schmaeling. The company and chief financial officer Richard Schmaeling sign a new contract set to begin on May 1 that keeps Schmaeling in his CFO role and adds the position of executive vice president, strategic initiatives to his duties. The new contract runs through April 30 of 2025 and pays Schmaeling an annual base salary of $800,000 that will be increased by not less than three percent annually beginning in May of 2022. Other aspects of the contract include: a target annual cash performance bonus at 90% of his annual base salary, to be earned based on Audacy’s performance; a grant of 60,000 restricted stock units as soon as practicable following May 1, 2021 which will vest 50% on May 1, 2023; 25% on May 1, 2024; and 25% on May 1, 2025; and restricted stock unit grants of 50,000 in 2021; 40,000 in 2022; 30,000 in 2023; and 20,000 in 2024, with vesting 50% on the second anniversary of the grant date and 25% on each of the third and fourth anniversaries of the grant date.

Galaxy Media Promotes Maine to Chief Revenue Officer; Greenlar to Chief Content Officer. Two Galaxy Media managers are rising to new positions within the company. Nick Maine is promoted to chief revenue officer from his current director of sports marketing position. In this new role, Maine will oversee the sales operations for both the Syracuse and Utica markets. Galaxy Media president and CEO Ed Levine says, “Nick Maine is a force of nature. It’s rare to have somebody that has been so engaged, so excited, and so competent all in one package. I can’t wait to see where he takes our sales effort over the next many years.” At the same time, Marissa Greenlar – brand manager for rock WKRL “KROCK” – is promoted to chief content officer for the company. She’ll continue in her role as brand manager for “KROCK” and will oversee all of the Galaxy brands and digital content. Levine comments, “Marissa’s contribution to Galaxy has been extraordinary. From starting as a sales assistant to working with the events team, to overseeing much of our social media and then assuming day-to-day programming responsibilities for ‘KROCK,’ she has impacted every aspect of Galaxy over the past 12 years. This newly created position is a reflection of the respect she has from her peers and an acknowledgement of her massive contributions to Galaxy.”

Cumulus Launches ‘104.5 The Zone TV’ in Nashville. The new “104.6 The Zone TV” will be more than just cameras in the WGFX-FM, Nashville studios for its daily radio programs. The Cumulus Media sports talk station says original sports programming on “104.5 The Zone Podcast Network,” original shows, and instant reaction specials every evening – including “The Ultimate Tennessee Podcast” – will be available on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch. The station also says that after a big game or a huge event in Nashville, hosts will be live on “104.5 The Zone TV” to instantly react with fans from their home studios. WGFX-FM program director Paul Mason says, “‘104.5 The Zone TV’ is going to offer our fans a whole new experience when consuming ‘104.5 The Zone.’ Our listeners will now have the option to watch and interact with their favorite ‘104.5 The Zone’ personalities as they video stream their shows live on a variety of different social media platforms. With our recent partnership with A to Z Sports, the launch of ‘104.5 The Zone TV,’ and with more to come, ‘104.5 The Zone’ is continuing our reputation as the gold standard for sports content.” Will Boling is digital content producer for the station, and he says, “‘104.5 The Zone TV’ gives the listener a behind-the-scenes and in-depth look at the faces and voices behind the microphone from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. It also provides sports fans with a chance to skip the call-in line and instantly react to the biggest headlines with our hosts in the chat. Whether it’s watching the shows on our daily lineup during the week, reacting to digital exclusives in the evenings, or pregame/postgame shows centered around the biggest events in Nashville sports, ‘104.5 The Zone TV’ will expand Zone coverage – and that’s a huge win for sports fans. There is more excitement to come, so stay tuned!”

Audacy: Audio Is Driving Force Behind Vaccination Willingness. Citing results from a recent study it commissioned, Audacy says the S. Radoff Associates research that tested audio’s trust and influence during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic indicates audio is the leading media source in the fight against COVID-19 and a driving force behind Americans’ willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The study concludes that for the vaccine hesitant population, audio is the most trusted source of information about COVID vaccination (46%), ahead of TV news shows (42%), friends and family (40%), articles in a local (37%) or national (36%) newspaper, and social media (27%). The study also found that the vast majority of vaccine hesitant U.S adults (81%) say they will take some form of action if they hear a local radio or podcast host provide information about the benefits of COVID vaccines and recommend that listeners receive a COVID vaccine. Audacy SVP of research and insights Idil Cakim says, “Since the onset of the pandemic, audio has served as a trusted companion for listeners seeking vital information, local news and sports and entertainment. As America slowly but surely returns to normal life, the vaccine is a major step towards doing what we all love again – going to sports events, dining at our favorite restaurants, or creating memories with loved ones – and our study shows how big of a role audio is playing in inspiring Americans to make a plan to get their shot.”

Noel Paul Stookey is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. A true, elder statesmen of American folk music, as well as an iconic popularizer of the civil rights movement going back to the protest songs of the early 60s, Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Stookey discuss the evolution of the civil rights movement from the freedom marches of the early 60s to the current reckoning of the early 20s among a number of other fascinating topics. Stookey also discusses his latest charitable project. Don’t miss this extraordinary conversation between two extremely articulate individuals that spans the decades and connects the dots. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

The Todd Starnes Show Adds Affiliate in Salem, Oregon. The Memphis-based programs featuring conservative talk media personality and best-selling author Todd Starnes are being added to the program schedule at Willamette Broadcasting’s KYKN-AM, Salem, Oregon. The station is putting “The Todd Starnes Show” in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot long held by Rush Limbaugh. It is also airing the “Todd Starnes Weekend Edition” as well as the “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” feature.

COVID-19, U.S. to Exit Afghanistan, Minneapolis Protests/Chauvin Trial, Democrats’ Court-Packing Bill, Russia Sanctions/China Threats, Reparations Bill, Matt Gaetz Case, and Bernie Madoff Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14). The “pause” on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the high COVID numbers in Michigan, and the variant running wild in Brazil; President Joe Biden’s move to end U.S. operations in Afghanistan; the protests in Minneapolis over the police shooting death of Daunte Wright, the manslaughter charges against former cop Kim Potter, and the ongoing Derek Chauvin trial; Democrats’ plans to introduce a “court-packing” bill to expand the Supreme Court to 13 justices; the expected sanctions against Russia for hacking and election interference and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before Congress about China’s threats to the U.S.; U.S. House Democrats file a bill to study slavery reparations; the allegations of paying for sex with minors against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz; and Ponzi scheme orchestrator Bernie Madoff dies in prison were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.