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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

| July 27, 2022

This Massachusetts “Marathon” Is Forced To Run Elsewhere. In what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “one of the most knuckle-headed public relations mis-steps” he’s ever witnessed in a local situation, the Springfield, MA-based Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has kicked up a dust-storm of bad will for itself.  (Note: TALKERS headquarters are also based in Springfield, MA.) For over two decades, a charitable Thanksgiving initiative known as the Mayflower Marathon has held its November charity event to raise money for the Open Pantry at the famed  hoops museum in the Western Massachusetts city where basketball was invented. A consistent partner and main engine for the event over the years has been Saga Communications’ WAQY “Rock 102 – Springfield’s Classic Rock,” which does its own “marathon” by broadcasting from the venue for 52 consecutive hours. The long-running goodwill synergy though seems to have hit a speedbump. Citing “capacity issues,” the Basketball Hall of Fame says the event will no longer be held at its location. Declaring he’s in “shock” by the HOF’s decision, “Rock 102” morning talk show co-host and local radio legend  Mike Baxendale (“Bax”) points out that – for 28 years- the station has helped the Mayflower Marathon raise several million dollars for the Open Pantry. Mirroring Baxendale’s astonished sentiment is Open Pantry executive director Terry Maxey who elaborates, “We are the largest food pantry in Western Massachusetts.” Not having the Mayflower Marathon in Springfield, he laments “would be truly disappointing.” Replying in a prepared statement to Western Mass News, Basketball Hall of Fame president/chief executive officer John Doleva notes, “The Hall of Fame has been pleased to offer this space at no charge for over 20 years for the Mayflower Marathon. As a ‘landlord,’ the Hall of Fame’s first obligation is to make certain that [the needs of our tenants], including adequate and convenient parking, are met. The growth in our tenant base and the very positive organic growth of existing tenants has made this change necessary.” Things further escalated in the last several days when Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno sent a letter to the Basketball HOF, asking Doleva to reconsider. Part of Sarno’s letter reads, “This event has been held for over 25 years and has caused no prior disruptions and/or complaints from your establishments.” It’s Doleva’s contention that the choice to pull the plug on housing the event was actually made nine months ago. To show support for the event as it establishes a new home, Doleva responded on behalf of Hall of Fame board chair Jerry Colangelo and Colebrook Realty’s Jack Dill by writing that the HOF is “happy to commit a gift of $5,000 to the Marathon. Our property management group, Colebrook, has committed an additional $2,500 for a total of $7,500 to the event.” Meanwhile, Baxendale maintains to Western Mass News that the Mayflower Marathon “is going to happen one way or another. We are looking at alternative sites [and] have a lot of suggestions. [Unfortunately], this shows that there’s a disconnect between the Hall of Fame and the community.”

GCN Vindicated in Sandy Hook Case. A defendant in Alex Jones’ Connecticut defamation case – Ted Anderson-owned Genesis Communications Network – was vindicated when the plaintiffs unilaterally withdrew all legal claims against GCN. The action was taken one month prior to jury selection and effectuated without settlement, release, or other consideration by GCN. According to Anderson, “This means we can continue to serve the hundreds of radio programs as we have over the years, programs from a wide array of political viewpoints. Including us in the suit was an attack on talk radio as an institution. It was totally unjustified. My heart breaks for those families – but yes – I feel this was the right result.” GCN attorney Mario Cerame states, “We are, of course, pleased with the recognition that GCN was not a proper defendant. Genesis does not monitor the content of the radio shows it works with. These are the sound engineers, ensuring professional sound quality, balance, and the like. They make space in the recording for commercials. They do not factcheck the words any more than your phone company does, or the people who sell you a keyboard check to see what you type. They just deliver the sound, like a radio version of the United States postal worker. We had to vigorously litigate the case up to the eve of jury selection but, the plaintiffs ultimately acknowledged this and walked away on their own, without a dime from GCN. We were caught in a battle between two Goliaths [but] after a lot of hard work, we managed to come out unscathed.”

 

Ippolito In As iHeartMedia San Diego Market President. Concurrent with iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest transitioning to a consultant role on August 1, senior vice president of sales Noreen Ippolito becomes her successor. Ippolito will report to division president Tom McConnell who comments, “Noreen is an incredible talent with an outstanding track record. She has strong business acumen and understands how to build and cultivate high performing teams. She is the perfect choice to lead our San Diego and Riverside markets.” In addition to San Diego news/talk outlets KOGO “News Radio 600” and KGB-AM “AM 760”; sports talk KLSD “Fox 1360”; and Riverside Black Information Network news outlet KFOO “BIN 1440”, Ippolito will oversee San Diego classic rock KGB-FM; rock KIOZ; CHR KHTS; hot AC KMYI; and rhythmic CHR KSSX.

Steele To Receive MIW’s Annual Airblazer Award. Five-year cancer survivor/Audacy New York classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM morning drive co-host Patty Steele is the recipient of the eighth annual Mentoring and Inspiring Women’s Airblazer award. Steele will be honored during next month’s (8/18) Morning Show Boot Camp in Chicago. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “It’s such a privilege to be the conduit for this very special award recognizing top on-air talent. Congratulations to Patty Steele, a wonderful talent and an even better human.” As is tradition, the “Airblazer” is carefully selected by the prior year’s honoree. The recipient is recognized for her dedication/contributions to the broadcast industry and to the communities she serves. Syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” host/2021 MIW “Airblazer” DeDe McGuire remarks, “It is my honor to select Patty Steele as the next recipient of the MIW Airblazer award. Patty has worked on some of the most successful radio shows alongside some of the biggest names in our industry. Her voice, humor, and insights were key to the successes of these shows on some of the country’s most legendary stations. So many of us in the industry admire her ability to always be the best and work through difficult times, both personally and professionally. She always comes out on top.” Steele adds, “I can’t tell you how proud and delighted I am to be chosen as this year’s recipient of the Airblazer award. My passion for radio and for the young women coming up in this business make this a truly special honor. Being chosen by DeDe is icing on the cake – she’s a survivor and [thrives] in our ever-changing business.” At WCBS-FM, Steele is reunited with Scott Shannon. She has also worked with Elvis Duran, Danny Bonaduce, and John Lander at a number of other well-known New York City stations, including news/talk WOR, news WCBS-AM, WHTZ, and WPLJ. In April, Steele was one of thirteen podcasters to receive a 2022 Gracie award for her “Deep Six” series. The two-part episode featured Steele’s interview with her 26-year-old son, Jake, about his heroin addiction and his journey to recovery. Three other Audacy-owned stations aired the show. Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of female leadership in radio broadcasting. In addition to DeDe McGuire, previous “Airblazers” include: Angela Yee (2020); Kellie Rasberry (2019); Mercedes Martinez (2018); Roula Christie (2017); Angie Martinez (2016); and class of 2022 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Ellen K (2015).

iHM Portland Boosts Burgess To Market President. The promotion of iHeartMedia Portland senior vice president of sales Marshal Burgess to market president for the company’s eight-station Oregon cluster is effective immediately. He will report to iHM Multiplatform Group division president/Black Information Network president Tony Coles, who states, “It has been incredible to witness Marshal’s growth and success over the years. Few leaders [have] the kind of experience, integrity, and vision that Marshal brings to the table. We look forward to Marshal building upon our history of success in Portland.” University of Oregon alum Burgess notes, “I’ve spent my entire life in Portland and grew up listening to [several stations in this iHM cluster]. The support and positive energy I’ve received from Tony Coles and the entire team here in Portland have been unbelievable. I’m very excited for the future and am truly humbled by the opportunity.” Burgess began his career at CBS Radio in 1996. He joined iHeartMedia the following year and has been with the company (then known as Clear Channel) ever since. In that time, he has progressed from being an account executive; local sales manager; general sales manager; and vice president of sales. In addition to news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190” and sports talk KPOJ “Rip City Sports Radio 620,” iHeartMedia Portland consists of adult contemporary KKCW; classic hits-oldies KLTH; classic rock KFBW; CHR KKRZ; alternative KKRZ-HD2; and rhythmic CHR KXJM.

Cannabis Advertising Legislation Introduced. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Advertising Act, would clarify that local radio and television broadcasters can air cannabis ads without the threat of FCC administrative action in states where pot is legal. SAFE was introduced by Senator Ben Ray Luján (Democrat-New Mexico) and follows the House passage of FY 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. Language in that bill would prevent the FCC from taking administrative action against broadcasters that accept cannabis commercials. In a prepared statement, NAB president/chief executive officer Curtis LeGeyt notes, “Due to outdated government regulations, only local radio and television broadcasters face legal exposure for advertising cannabis products permitted under state law. The SAFE Advertising Act would finally level the playing field and create necessary regulatory certainty for broadcasters. We thank Senator Luján for his leadership on this issue and we will continue working with policymakers to ensure there is a permanent resolution to this competitive disparity.” New Mexico Broadcasters Association president/chief executive officer Paula Maes comments, “The members of the NMBA appreciate the efforts of Senator Luján and his staff. Their work on this bill which would allow cannabis advertising to air on New Mexico broadcasting is in step with state law and [is] long overdue. The Senator’s legislation helps remedy this unfair situation by recognizing the importance of state law in addressing cannabis issues.” New York State Broadcasters Association president/Safe Advertising Coalition member David Donovan adds, “We applaud Senator Luján’s efforts to allow local radio and television broadcasters to accept cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state in which they are licensed. We look forward to working with the Senator’s office to move this important legislation forward.”

Horowitz Headed To Raiders P-B-P Booth. The search to find a successor for the iconic Brent Musberger as radio play-by-play announcer for the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders concludes: Jason Horowitz is the choice. Horowitz, who will be this year’s game-caller with returning analyst Lincoln Kennedy, reflects that, “As a kid, I used to pretend I was the voice for a team calling an epic interception, or the game-winning touchdown. I want to thank [Raiders controlling owner/managing general partner] Mark Davis and the Raiders organization for making that dream become a reality. I am humbled to join an historic franchise, following in the footsteps of the legends who have called games of the ‘silver and black’ to the sport’s greatest fanbase.” Horowitz most recently has been Westwood One’s NCAA football and basketball studio host and CBS Sports Network’s announcer of Army football games. Musberger signed a contract four years ago (July 2018), making him the radio voice of the Oakland Raiders and the inaugural season (2020) when the franchise relocated to Las Vegas. He continued those duties through the 2021 season. Compass Media Networks syndicates Raiders games which air on Las Vegas sports talk flagship, Lotus Communications-owned KRLV “Raider Nation Radio 920 AM.”

BIN Listeners Offered Free Career Coaching. A “100,000 Careers” service from CareerBuilder will provide Black Information Network (BIN) listeners with a gratis 45-minute session. BIN and CareerBuilder have joined forces to launch the platform created to connect 100,000 BIN listeners looking to advance their careers. As part of the initiative, jobseekers have access to personalized career guidance through a complimentary coaching session. BIN listeners will have the opportunity to meet with an expert within their industry and receive individually tailored advice and actionable feedback to help promote their career growth. According to iHeartMedia Multiplatform group division president Tony Coles, “The Black Information Network and CareerBuilder are committed to giving jobseekers the tools and resources they need to stand out from the crowd. These sessions help match jobseekers and experts to help [them] prepare for [their] interview. We are excited to offer this service to get one step closer to helping 100,000 listeners find the career of their dreams.” CareerBuilder chief marketing officer Kristin Kelley comments, “We are thrilled to offer this hyper-customized experience in hopes that the community will receive practical feedback relevant to their industry to help them either find a job filled with purpose, or grow into their current role. Careers start with mentors and support, which is why expert coaching is one of the many ways that the 100,000 Careers initiative can transform the way job seekers find a role.” Through the use of AI technology and responses from an initial questionnaire, jobseekers will be matched with more than 5,000 available coaches. During the one-on-one session, jobseekers can ask questions, identify strengths, and work to define a career path that fits their needs. Participants will receive an individualized report that includes actionable advice and a video recording following the online session.

Newsmax Signs Multiple International Programming Distribution Deals. Through one of the agreements, Zee Entertainment’s Zee5 will carry Newsmax’s news feed 24/7, as well as VOD content. Zee will also post content from Newsmax.com in its news section. Zee5’s initial distribution of Newsmax content will be in India, with eventual expansion to the Middle East and North Africa. Earlier this month, Newsmax signed a distribution pact with Canal+-owned European satellite, cable, and OTT provider M7 and is now available in The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary. Rounding out Newsmax’s recent global expansion efforts is its July 19 deal in Australia with Foxtel-owned streaming platform Flash News. Newsmax chief executive officer Chris Ruddy states, “The demand for high-quality journalism is growing worldwide as citizens everywhere look for real news to help understand a complex world. We are delighted to be working with Zee, M7, and Foxtel to deliver our content to the world’s largest democracies and we are looking forward to continuing to expand our global reach.” M7 group vice president/platform content services Bill Wijdeveld remarks, “We are welcoming Newsmax on board of our TV platforms, allowing the channel to launch into multiple European markets in ‘one go.’ We thank Newsmax for its trust in our service provisioning and look forward to a fruitful cooperation over the coming years.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Baltimore Ravens defensive back Rod Woodson will join play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky this season on the NFL team’s broadcasts on Hearst Baltimore news/talk WBAL. According to Sandusky, “Rod brings the unique perspective of someone who has both played and coached at the highest level of the game. He does it in a down-to-earth way that is approachable, likable and just plain fun. It’s a privilege to work with a broadcast partner like Rod.” Woodson states that, “Being a part of the Ravens’ gameday broadcast team is a blessing. To be back with the team that I won my only Super Bowl with will be fun.”

Monday, June 27, 2022

| June 27, 2022

Monday Memo: Inflation Hacks. Inflation is changing listeners, advertisers and OUR lives, in almost every way. Consultant Holland Cooke vows that, “Rather than joining the blame-game unison, I will be using this column for the entire month of July to offer solutions, dozens of ways you can share on-air, and use yourself.” He begins a week early, with “a renegotiation hit list.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Roe v Wade. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade could present opportunities for talk radio. He asks, “As the ruling to reverse Roe v Wade works through societal and financial issues, could 50 years of history be reversed? Could the impact change the next 50 years of talk radio? He suggests three possible shifts. Read about them here.

 

TEACHING NEW GENERATIONS ABOUT “RADIO.”  New C. Crane Emergency Radio a Big Hit at TALKERS 2022 Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Walter Sterling of “Sterling on Sunday” scored a home run with his grade-school-aged daughter Samantha (shown above) upon returning from TALKERS 2022 with a magical device known among communications wizards as the CCRadio Solar.  The first 200 registrants to arrive at the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention were surprised and delighted to find a real special premium, individually handed to them by iconic radio manufacturer/distributor C. Crane for their conference goodie bag. Each attendee received an amazing CCRadio Solar radio unit – valued at $99.99 retail – and the result was raves all around. The CCRadio Solar is a small digital portable radio that is successful as an emergency radio, but the form and format function invite its owner to use it daily. When placed in a sunny window, it’s perfect for the morning news. Audio quality is a surprise; it’s accurate, pleasing and has two modes. A miser mode to conserve battery power in a true emergency and a high-power mode for an even better audio experience. Reception is good for the size. The almost brick-size depth and unique UV resistant rubber perimeter is concave on the bottom which makes it inherently stable. The flashlight is above average in brightness and color because of the selected high-quality LED. The hand crank folded (that’s right, it can be cranked for power) and inlaid on in the back is the only visible clue that it’s an emergency radio. The included lithium-ion battery can be recharged by wind-up, solar panel, your USB port, or optional AC power adapter (not included). When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the radio will run more than 50 hours or charge your phone from the approximately 50% level to 100% level. It can also be powered by three “AA” alkaline batteries (not included) for approximately 50 hours in low power mode or 35 hours in high power mode. C. Crane founder Bob Crane tells TALKERS, “I brought the first CCRadio Solar home and my wife absconded with it until our designer/illustrator had to beg to get it back for documentation. To get it back from him was also overly arduous. I have never seen a radio so coveted. It is about hand-size and it stays charged in a sunny window with an oversize solar panel which means it may not need a power assist for years.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “The radio industry owes a great debt of gratitude to C. Crane for keeping the appliance known as a ‘radio’ alive in the consumer electronic marketplace and ever-innovative for decades after the business itself abandoned the idea that it would be a good thing to promote and support the appliance as being at least as important a device as a can opener. Shame on the NAB as well as the rest of us for committing this potentially lethal negligence.”  To learn more about this fabulous device and enjoy a TALKERS discount on C.Crane purchases, please click here.

 

New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted: Today, TALKERS magazine posts the latest in an ongoing series of video presentations from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island. Today’s video addition features RAB president/CEO Erica Farber moderating a panel session titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Noisy Digital World.” Panelists include Erik Hellum, chief operating officer, Townsquare Media, New York/RAB Chad Lopez, president, Red Apple MediaJulie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks, and Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group, New York/RAB.  Introduction provided by Gary Krantz, CEO, Krantz Media Group.  You can watch the video here.

Introducers Play Vital Role at TALKERS 2022. Last week, TALKERS began highlighting the talk media professionals who introduced the panel discussions and presentations at the recent TALKERS 2022 at Hofstra University. Today, we continue to give a little digital ink – as well as our tremendous thanks for their outstanding efforts – to those who took the time to prepare brief speeches that provided informative and relevant information prior to the conference presentations. Pictured below is Rich Zeoli, morning drive host at WPHT, Philadelphia, who introduced the panel titled, “Strategizing a Talk Show Hosting Career.”

 

“NPR News Now” Tops Triton Digital’s May Podcast Report. The latest (May 2022) U.S. podcast report from Triton Digital findsNPR News Now” leading for average weekly downloads. In descending order, the top ten in that category includes: “NPR News Now”; “The Ben Shapiro Show”; “Crime Junkie”; Dateline: NBC”; “Morbid: A True Crime Podcast”; “Up First”; “The Dan Bongino Show”; “My Favorite Murder”; “Fresh Air”: and “Last Podcast On The Left.” Meanwhile, the top 10 podcasts by average weekly users are: “Crime Junkie”; “Up First”; “Morbid: A True Crime Podcast”; Dateline: NBC”; “The Ben Shapiro Show”; “NPR News Now”; “Smartless”; “My Favorite Murder”; “The Dan Bongino Show”; and Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend.” Rankers indicate Stitcher Media is the top network based on average weekly users. That top 10 includes: Stitcher Media; Audacy Podcast Network; Audioboom; NPR; Wondery; Cumulus Podcast Network; NBCUniversal News Group; Warner Media; Kast Media; and Paramount. Extremely similar to this list is the top 10 networks by average weekly downloads: Stitcher Media; NPR; Audacy Podcast Network; Wondery; Cumulus Podcast Network; Audioboom; NBCUniversal News Group; Paramount; Warner Media; and Kast Media. The top three highest indexing shows for women 18+ are: “Watch What Crappens” (Stitcher Media); “Something Was Wrong” (Wondery); and “The Viall Files (Kast Media). The top three highest indexing shows for men 18+: “The Pat McAfee Show 2.0” (Stitcher Media); “The Fighter & The Kid” (Kast Media); and “2 Bears 1 Cave with Tom Segura & Bert Kreischer” (Stitcher Media). Based on downloads, top podcast genres were: “News” (27%); “True Crime” (20%); “Comedy” (18%); “Society & Culture” (7%); and “Sports” (6%). More than nine of ten (93%) episodes were downloaded on mobile devices; 1.8% occurred on a desktop or laptop. Numbers do not include all shows and exclude those not participating in this particular measurement system. The entire report is available on TritonRankers.com.

 

Legislation Gains Steam To Allow Cannabis Ads on Radio. Language on a House Appropriations committee bill advanced last Friday (6/24) would prevent the FCC from taking administrative action against broadcasters accepting cannabis advertisements consistent with the law of the state or jurisdiction in which the station is licensed. NAB spokesman Alex Siciliano comments, “We are pleased to see this bipartisan language has advanced in the House. As the vast majority of states have legalized cannabis in some form, today marks a long overdue step toward finally allowing broadcasters to receive equal treatment regarding cannabis advertising that other forms of media have had for years. While we welcome [Friday’s] progress, local broadcasters will continue to work with all policymakers towards a broader resolution of this competitive disparity and in support of our unique service to local communities.” New York State Broadcasters Association president David Donovan adds, “We are grateful to House Appropriations Committee chair Rosa DeLauro; subcommittee chair Mike Quigley; and members of the committee for recognizing the unfairness of the present situation with respect to cannabis advertising. The provision in this appropriations bill is a major step forward for leveling the playing field for local broadcasters. We believe the law of the state in which a station is licensed should determine whether a station can accept cannabis advertising, if they so choose. We look forward to working with members of Congress and the administration to help restore parity between local broadcasters and other media outlets.” In states that have approved cannabis for medical and/or adult use, local radio and television stations have been unable to accept advertisements from legally-authorized cannabis distributors. Meanwhile, cable; satellite; internet; print; magazine; billboards; and social media platforms are free to accept and transmit these ads.

 

Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Award Winners Announced. Honorees were cited by the Society of Professional Journalists in a video presentation last Thursday (6/23). In Sigma Delta Chi’s category of “Radio Breaking News Reporting, Market 1-100 or Network Syndication,” CBS News Radio’s staff won for “Assault on the U.S. Capitol.” Other winners included: Chicago Public Media-owned public radio news/talk WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang, Susie An, and Alden Loury for “Fertile Soil For Abuse: A Reckoning at Covenant Fellowship Church” (“Radio Investigative Reporting, Large Market”) and Virginia Tech public radio news/talk WVTF, Roanoke’s Sandy Hausmang for “COVID-19 in Virginia Prisons” (“Radio Investigative Reporting, Small Market”). NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang won for “Immigration Hard-Liner Files Reveal 40-Year Bid Behind Trump’s Census Obsession” (“Radio Feature Reporting, Large Market”), while Wichita State University public radio news/talk KMUW’s Suzanne Perez won for her piece on 3,000 Kansas kindergartners (“Radio Feature Reporting, Small Market”). Elsewhere, University Radio Foundation public radio news/talk WFAE, Charlotte’s David Boraks was victorious in the “Radio Documentaries, Large Market” category for “Asbestos Town.” Reports regarding healthcare mistreatment in Maine State Prisons by Maine Public Radio’s Susan Sharon and Mark Simpson won in “Public Service in Radio Journalism.” The award for “Narrative Podcast” went to NBC NewsAyman Mohyeldin and Preeti Varathan for “American Radical.”

 

Lee Named to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. On October 5, Kristi Lee – the co-host and news director of Westwood One’s “Bob & Tom Show” – will be among six Hoosiers to be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Indiana Broadcasters Association executive director Dave Arland notes, “The 2022 Hall of Fame Class is comprised of well-known broadcasters who pushed the boundaries of innovation and made the Indiana communities they served better, more informed places to live. For decades, our newest group of Hall of Famers have provided critical eyes, ears, and voices for listeners and viewers in Indiana and beyond. They have told wonderful stories and are each also active members of their communities. We are honored to add our 2022 honorees to the honor roll of the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.” Lee – who has covered sports for ESPN and the Indiana Pacers – comments, “I am humbled and honored to be included amongst these prestigious honorees. As a lifelong Hoosier, I have been lucky enough to spend my entire career in my home state. I cannot imagine a more meaningful award.” Over 100 stations carry “The Bob & Tom Show.”

 

BetMGM Becomes Exclusive Sportsbook of the BetQL Network. The partnership is a multi-year agreement that expands the current relationship between BetMGM and Audacy. Audacy chair, president and chief executive officer David Field comments, “We are delighted to expand our strategic partnership with BetMGM, highlighted by their new exclusive position with the BetQL Network. Barely a year old, the BetQL Network has a bright future ahead of it as legalized sports betting continues to expand over the next decade.” BetMGM chief revenue officer Matt Provost notes, “We’re excited to further our strategic partnership with Audacy and to bring our market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment content to millions of listeners nationwide across the entire BetQL Network platform.” Since its launch last June, the BetQL Network has expanded from two markets to 31. Beginning in September, BetMGM will have category exclusivity of the network’s full slate of programming, including flagship “You Better You Bet” and “BetQL Daily,” “The Daily Tip,” and “BetMGM Tonight.” Audacy will produce content for live audiences at various MGM Resorts across the country. Audacy first announced a partnership with BetMGM in March 2021. The BetQL Network is a live, linear digital channel that distributes approximately 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms and YouTube.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Ramifications on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade will be discussed tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, 6/28) on Boston public radio news/talk WGBH’s “Community Conversation: The Roe v. Wade Ruling”  (2:00 pm – 3:30 pm). WGBH general manager/news Pam Johnston comments, “The Supreme Court’s opinion on Roe v. Wade will impact our lives in Massachusetts in ways we haven’t even begun to understand yet and opens up a host of questions for people across the Commonwealth. We invite people to gather at the ‘GBH Studio inside the Boston Public Library to discuss and unpack these critical and far-reaching issues.” WGBH hosts Callie Crossley, Margery Eagan, and Paris Alston will be joined by Reproductive Equity Now executive director Rebecca Hart Holder and Suffolk University professor Renee Landers … Taking effect this Friday (7/1) will be a ten-year extension between Learfield and the University of Oklahoma athletics department. Learfield executive vice president/university partnership group Mike Hamilton notes, “We’re extremely proud to have the opportunity to continue representing the Sooner brand. We appreciate Oklahoma University Athletics’ longtime trust in us. The unprecedented agreement commencing in July speaks to the forward-thinking, strategic decisions necessary in today’s rapidly evolving college sports landscape.” Oklahoma University vice president/director of athletics Joe Castiglione comments, “As with any challenge and change our industry experiences, we intentionally seek cutting-edge collaborations to move us forward in the marketplace. [Learfield’s] leadership continues to help our administration navigate through areas such as evolution in the content game and digital innovation.” Sooner Sports Properties’ newly-named vice president/general manager Kelly Collyar remarks, “We are genuinely excited about this extension and how it will transform the way our brand partners integrate with our fans. Through the expansion of categories and assets, sponsorship will truly take on a new meaning at Oklahoma University.” Meanwhile, pending finalization of a deal first reported by The Grand Forks Herald, radio rights to University of North Dakota athletics broadcasts will be awarded to iHeartMedia, which currently airs Fighting Hawks sports. According to the report, Leighton Broadcasting also bid on the radio package … Several major media and entertainment companies such as Comcast, Discovery, Disney, Meta, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, and Warner Bros. will cover travel costs for employees seeking abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.