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Hannity Attorneys Demand Retraction from New York Times. Attorneys for FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity have sent a request to The New York Times that it issue an apology to Hannity and retract its coverage of Hannity’s work at FOX covering the coronavirus pandemic. Hannity’s lawyers are saying if the paper does not act within 24 hours, Hannity will have no choice but to file suit. According to a FOX News story, at issue are “three separate pieces by columnist Ginia Bellafante, contributing writer Kara Swisher and media columnist Ben Smith which they said all showed ‘an outrageous disregard for the truth.’” The paper responded that its reporting is accurate and there is no need for an apology. Hannity attorney Charles Harder says the issue is the Times’ “blatant and outrageous disregard for the truth in mischaracterizing Mr. Hannity’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and blaming him for the tragic death of Joe Joyce,” referring to a 74-year-old who contracted the coronavirus on a cruise. Joyce’s children warned him and his wife not to take the cruise but, according to Bellafante’s column, Joyce watched FOX News Channel and believed the virus was under control.
Tony Bruno and Harry Mayes Launch Sports Talk Show on SB Nation Radio on May 11. Sports talk personalities Tony Bruno and Harry Mayes are returning to terrestrial radio on May 11 as SB Nation Radio and JAKIB Media Partners announce the program “Into the Night” will be made available to radio stations via the SB Nation Radio network. The program feeds to affiliates from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET. Bruno says, “I continue in amazement that at a time when there are no sports to talk about, my partner Harry and I keep getting hired to talk sports.” Bruno and Mayes reunited — they worked together at WPEN-FM, Philadelphia — for a daily sports talk show on April 6 when they joined the Dan Patrick Radio channel on SiriusXM for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart. The “Into the Night” program SB Nation is presenting is mostly a re-broadcast of the SiriusXM show, however Bruno will customize some segments for the late-night show and there’s also the possibility that Bruno and Mayes will broadcast live for special events and remotes, according to SB Nation’s Brian Schaible.
PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk. The thirst for news during the coronavirus pandemic has lifted public radio news/talk stations as 79% of those on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares rise from the February 2020 survey. KOPB-FM, Portland and KQED-FM, San Francisco led the group of gainers with increases of 1.7 shares and 1.5 shares, respectively. Year-over-year comparisons were not quite as impressive with 59% of stations improving. KNOW-FM, Minneapolis stands out as it added 3.4 shares from the March 2019 survey to the March 2020 survey and climbed from the #9 rank in the market to #1. In addition to KNOW-FM, four other public radio news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their markets in March: WAMU-FM, Washington; KCFR-FM, Denver; KOPB-FM, Portland; and KUT-FM, Austin. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
‘Bogey’ Exits WXYT-FM, Detroit. Evening sports talk personality Kyle Bogenschutz – a.k.a. Bogey, has exited Entercom’s Detroit sports talk outlet WXYT-FM where he co-hosted the evening show with Bob Wojnowski. According to the Detroit News’ report, Bogey’s exit was the result of stalled contract talks, not cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bogey had been with the station since 2014 and had been co-hosting the evening show with Wojo since June of 2017. His agent tells the News that he’s in conversations with “a couple of people” and believes Bogey will land somewhere soon.
States Begin ‘Re-Opening’ Economy, U.S. Coronavirus Statistics & Projections, Health Care System/Testing Capabilities, China’s Role in Pandemic, Presidential Race/Biden Accusation, and Kim Jong Un Health Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/27). A handful of states court controversy as they begin to ease social distancing restrictions; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll and projections for future cases; the state of the U.S. health care system and the capabilities for testing for COVID-19; the U.S. begins investigating China’s role in the pandemic; the November presidential election and the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden; and questions about the health status of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
SiriusXM First Quarter Revenue Up 5% Pro Forma. Today (4/28), SiriusXM reported its first quarter 2020 operating and financial results. It says revenue rose 5% (pro forma) to $2 billion. Net income for the quarter was $293 million, up from $162 million in the first quarter of 2019. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “In the face of the economy hitting the brakes hard in March, SiriusXM’s first quarter results were very strong. Auto sales, advertising, and customer responses to marketing campaigns all fell swiftly in the second half of March, yet we delivered increasing subscribers, solid revenue growth and 13% adjusted EBITDA growth to a first quarter record of $639 million. Just as it was a little over a decade ago during the global financial crisis, SiriusXM’s subscriber-based business model is resilient. We do not know what the shape of a recovery from this current crisis will look like, however, we are confident that our business will continue to generate substantial positive free cash flow. Once we have a better view of how and when the economy will restart, we plan to resume providing guidance.”
TALKERS News Notes. Phoenix talk show host Larry Gaydos announced to his listeners on Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix yesterday that his mother – already suffering from cancer – succumbed to COVID-19 over the weekend. Gaydos said she tested positive several weeks ago and suffered no effects until last week when she began to decline quickly…..The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand speculates about possible changes to take place at ESPN Radio in the near future in a column. In it, Marchand wonders about the futures of Dan LeBatard on the radio (his cable TV show is popular), Trey Wingo’s role on the Golic & Wingo morning show, and says Will Cain is all but destined to leave for a gig with FOX News very soon…..Yankees Radio Network play-by-play voice John Sterling is honored with the 2020 Governors’ Award, presented by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The Governors’ Award recognizes Sterling’s 60th anniversary as a broadcaster and his 31 years as the radio voice of the New York Yankees. Sterling says, “Whenever you get an award, it’s wonderful. But when you get an award from your peers, it is even better. I’m very humbled and appreciative to be the recipient of the 2020 Governors’ Award. I’m thankful to the board for their recognition of my longtime work with the New York Yankees, which is nothing short of a labor of love for me.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it will hold its investors conference call to discuss first quarter 2020 operating results on May 11 at 4:30 pm ET. Cumulus is the second publicly traded audio company to announce its Q1 call that is expected to address how the coronavirus pandemic – that had fully affected the country by mid-March – impacted its operations. iHeartMedia will hold a Q1 conference call on May 7.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new three-hour program starring Roula Christie is being launched by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One on May 2. Titled, “Weekends with Roula,” it is designed for hot AC and CHR stations and targets women 25-54. Westwood One says the show is “upbeat and motivational as she helps listeners find fun in the madness of juggling work and family. Roula mixes pop culture and entertainment news with hilarious conversations between her kids and her mom.” She comments, “I am over the moon at the opportunity to be nationally syndicated with Westwood One for ‘Weekends with Roula!’ I hope to connect with the rest of America the way I have been able to connect with my Greater Houston-area audience. I’m so grateful to my husband, Tasos, and children for providing me with material! I’m so excited!”…..Programming pro Scott Gaines is named operations manager for Alpha Media’s Amarillo, Texas cluster that includes country KGNC-FM, rhythmic CHR KVWE, classic hits KXGL “Eagle 100.5,” and news/talk KGNC-AM. Gaines will also program KGNC-FM and serve as afternoon drive host. He was most recently with Cumulus Media in Atlanta as APD and afternoon host at WKHX “New Country 101.5.”