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Friday, August 5, 2022

| August 5, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Mixed Messages,” looks back at this past week of 8/1 to 8/5. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Jack Heath, talk show host, The Pulse of NH, New Hampshire; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; and Greta Van Susteren, talk show host, Newsmax TV. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

iHeartMedia Q2 2022 Revenue Up 10.7%. The company reports that its 2022 second quarter consolidated revenue was $954 million, an increase of 10.7% over the same period in 2021. For the quarter, iHeartMedia posted net income of $15.2 million compared with the net loss of $32 million it reported for Q2 of 2021. iHeartMedia reports financial data in three segments: the Multiplatform Group (broadcast, networks, and sponsorships & events), Digital Audio Group, and Audio & Media Services Group. The company says revenue from the Multiplatform Group increased $27.5 million, or 4.5% year-over-year, primarily as a result of the continued recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadcast revenue grew $12.2 million, or 2.7%, driven by higher spot revenue and political advertising revenue as 2022 is a midterm election year, partially offset by lower trade and barter revenue due to the impact of the timing of the iHeartRadio Music Awards show, while Networks grew $3.9 million, or 3.2%. Revenue from Sponsorship and Events increased by $9.5 million, or 33.2%, primarily as a result of the return of live events. Revenue from iHM’s Digital Audio Group increased $54.6 million, or 27.6% compared to the same period in 2021. Digital, excluding podcast revenue, grew $22.4 million, or 15.5%, driven by increased demand for digital advertising. Podcast revenue increased by $32.3 million, or 60.4%, driven by higher revenues from the development of new podcasts as well as growth from existing podcasts. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We’re pleased to report another quarter of solid results for iHeart in terms of consumer usage, revenue and earnings growth and, most importantly, strong free cash flow generation. The Digital Audio Group continues to deliver industry-leading growth, and our Multiplatform Group continues to demonstrate that it is a growth engine for the company as well. As the #1 audio company in America across broadcast radio, digital radio and podcasting – and the largest consumer reach audio company in the U.S. by far, we remain committed to building our businesses for future growth and continuing to deliver both trusted companionship to our listeners and significant and unique value to our advertising partners.”

Audacy Q2 Net Revenue Rises 5%. Citing “declining macroeconomic conditions,” Audacy reports net revenue of $319.4 million, an increase of 5% over the same period in 2021. The company says that core spot revenue was $200.5 million – flat compared to the second quarter of 2021, and digital revenue was $69.3 million, up 19% compared to the second quarter of 2021. The company reports a net loss of $773,000 in Q2 of 2022 compared to the net income of $1.4 million it reported during the same period a year ago. Audacy breaks down its revenue by format categories and says that the news/talk category revenue (news/talk and all-news stations) was $51.8 million, an increase of 4.2% over the same period in 2021. Audacy president and CEO David Field comments, “After a very strong first quarter in which we grew revenues by 14% and significantly increased margin, our second quarter results were adversely impacted by declining macroeconomic conditions and ad market headwinds which reduced our top line growth to 5%. While we navigate the turbulent current market conditions, we are excited by our future growth potential across our scaled, multi-platform businesses, capitalizing on a number of important recent developments that include an enhanced national sales organization, expanded podcast and streaming audio networks, and during the second half of this year, the rollout of a new, reimagined digital platform and ad tech capabilities that will enable us to unlock pools of ad demand and supply that we can’t effectively monetize today. Our transformational development over the past couple of years has meaningfully enhanced our competitive position, strengthening our capacity to serve listeners and customers and enabling a powerful set of opportunities for revenue and EBITDA growth in the dynamically growing audio market.”

Audacy Gets Listing Standards Notice from NYSE. The company received notification from the New York Stock Exchange that its Class A common stock is not in compliance with the exchange’s continued listing standard requiring a minimum average closing price of $1.00 per share over 30 consecutive trading days. The notice does not result in the immediate delisting of the common stock from the NYSE. Audacy says it plans to notify the NYSE that it intends to regain compliance and is considering all available options that are in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. Audacy can regain compliance during a six-month cure period if, on the last trading day of any calendar month during the cure period, the common stock has a closing share price of at least $1.00 and an average closing share price of at least $1.00 over the 30 trading-day period ending on the last trading day of that month.

Salem Media Group Revenue Climbs 7.7% in Second Quarter of 2022. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2022, Salem Media Group reveals total revenue of $68.7 million, an increase of 7.7% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $9.1 million, an increase of more than 300% from the net income of $2.25 million reported in the second quarter of 2021. Salem reports in three segments: Broadcast, Digital Media, and Publishing and for Q2 of 2022, net broadcast revenue increased 12.1% to $52.5 million. Digital Media revenue increased 4.5% to $10.8 million, while Publishing revenue decreased 18.5% to $5.4 million.

Saga Communications Second Quarter Net Revenue Up 6.3%. For the second quarter of 2022, Saga Communications, Inc posts net revenue of $29.8 million, an increase of 6.3% over the same period in 2021. Station operating income increased 10.6% to $9.3 million and operating income was $5.4 million compared to $4.6 million for the same quarter last year. Free cash flow was $3.2 million in Q2 of 2022 compared to $4.2 million for the same period last year. Capital expenditures for the quarter were $2.6 million compared to $921 thousand for the same period last year. Capital expenditures for the quarter included the $1.1 million purchase of a building in Norfolk, Virginia that will replace the company’s existing leased studio and office facility. Saga reports net income of $3.8 million for the second quarter of 2022 compared to net income of $3.3 million for the same period a year ago.

Audacy and CBS Sports Digital Patner for Content Distribution and Ad Sales. This exclusive, multi-year deal between Audacy and CBS Sports Digital makes Audacy the exclusive, ad sales and distribution partner for CBS Sports’ network of sports podcasts. The press release states that CBS Sports Digital has grown to reach more than 90 million monthly active users, making it the second-largest sports group in the U.S, and with more than 65 shows and nearly 100 million downloads in 2021. Audacy EVP of digital sales Ken Lagana says, “We are incredibly excited to be partnering with CBS Sports in the podcasting space – properties I know well from my time spent there. Adding this family of content to our roster provides Audacy with a number of the leading sports, fantasy sports and betting podcasts, areas we have enjoyed significant success to date and are important to our clients.  This partnership could not come at a better time with football season fast approaching.”

TALKERS News Notes. The John Fredericks Media Network announces a programming agreement for the newest member of its growing portfolio of radio stations as the network’s programming is now airing on Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation’s WTJZ-AM, Portsmouth, Virginia. JFMN chief operating officer Anne Fredericks says, “The Norfolk market is critical to our Virginia network as it represents the biggest U.S. naval base in the world at a very uncertain time for our nation’s Navy personnel. The uncertainty of potential hostility in the Asian perimeter and the South China sea makes this opportunity more important than ever. We will continue to provide all our listeners with extensive and in-depth coverage of China’s military and economic moves in the area, as well as top-flight analysis of the evolving events.”…..FOX Sports Radio’s LaVar Arrington announces an addition to his Up On Game Presents podcast lineup as musician, songwriter and creative director Flash Garments launches the “Under Appreciated with Flash Garments” show. Arrington says, “We’re super excited to have Flash Garments join the Up On Game Presents lineup with the launch of his ‘Under Appreciated’ podcast. Flash knows everybody, is very well respected, and has a lot to say! I think listeners will really enjoy this inspiring and enlightening program, and we look forward to sharing it with our audience every Friday!”…..WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk host John DePetro has been filling in this week for WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dawn Stensland on her 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program…..The GCN-syndicated program “Classic Radio Theater with Wyatt Cox” adds new affiliate stations as KVOE-AM, Emporia, Kansas and KGEZ-AM, Kalispell, Montana adds the show to their program schedules. Cox comments, “I grew up on Sunnyslope Street in Emporia and listened to KVOE, enjoying some of the great music of the 60s and the fun personalities like the late Roger Hartsook. It’s a source of pride to be back in Emporia, if just virtually, every weekday.”

Video Tribute to Rich Stevens. The radio personality died on July 30 after suffering a heart attack. Rich Stevens enjoyed a career in music radio as well as in the talk radio format, hosting a program on Hubbard Radio’s WFTL, Fort Lauderdale. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo put together a tribute video that you can see here.

The Economy Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 1-5. The state of the U.S. economy – the still-high cost of food and gasoline and the threat of a recession – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between partisan politics, the elections, and abortion rights, followed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan tied with the related U.S.-China relations at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

| September 8, 2021

SuperTalk Mississippi Network Announces ‘MidDays with Gerard Gibert.’ The “SuperTalk Mississippi Network” operated by TeleSouth Communications that airs on 12 news/talk outlets across the state announces the launch of a new show to air in the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daypart. “MidDays with Gerard Gibert” takes over the slot previously held by J.T. Williamson, who recently died after a battle with lymphoma. SuperTalk Mississippi Media says Gerard is “an entrepreneur, capitalist, and Journey junkie. After founding Venture Technologies in 1986, Gerard worked diligently to provide jobs for Mississippians and ultimately sold the well-established company in 2019. Wanting to have a larger impact in Mississippi, Gibert joined the SuperTalk family in March of 2020, filling in as guest host of ‘The JT Show’ and being overwhelmingly welcomed by the SuperTalk audience.” Gibert comments, “It’s been an honor over the past 19 months to guest host for J.T. as he focused on fighting cancer. While in the chair, I’ve gotten acquainted with The JT Show’s vast audience – truly the best of Mississippi. Without a doubt, they loved and respected J.T. and I greatly appreciate the welcome they extended to me. I am ‘Super’ excited about launching my new show and look forward to achieving the standard of broadcasting excellence delivered daily by J.T. and consistent with the SuperTalk tradition.” SuperTalk Mississippi Media owner Steve Davenport adds, “Gerard is passionate and relatable, with a natural ability to connect with his audience. He understands the immense power that radio has to connect with listeners for three hours every day. I am confident that he will take this opportunity and create a lasting legacy just as his predecessor J.T. did before him. The company will always remember J.T. and the impact he had on his wonderful and loyal fanbase, and the state of Mississippi as a whole.”

‘Free Talk Live’ Co-Founder Ian Freeman’s Legal Situation is Featured in New York Magazine Piece. Regular readers of TALKERS magazine are probably aware of the legal situation the “Free Talk Live” co-founder Ian Freeman finds himself in: He’s out on $200,000 bond (with an ankle monitor) awaiting trial for various charges stemming from his (and five of his associates’) bitcoin activities. Though there are some 20 charges against him after the FBI’s five-year investigation, the thrust of the government’s case is that Freeman was not licensed to handle the bitcoin-for-cash transactions. The piece is written for New York by Simon van Zuylen-Wood and he writes about the case, “The government alleged that Freeman had been running a sophisticated multimillion-dollar racket that enabled ‘hordes of cyber criminals’ to scam victims and launder money. To do this, prosecutors said, Freeman and his crew used both online accounts and crypto vending machines to execute thousands of unlicensed transactions, trading the Shire’s [referring to the Freeman-founded Shire Free Church] bitcoin for cash without asking too many questions about its origins. Freeman was also charged with enlisting friends to stash his operation’s proceeds into newly created bank accounts under false pretenses. (Freeman and his codefendants have pleaded not guilty.)” The piece goes into detail about Freeman’s and co-founder Mark Edge’s settling in Keene, New Hampshire to join the libertarian Free State Project, a bit about the history of the nationally syndicated radio program and a lot about the bitcoin scene in Keene. Edge has not been arrested or indicted because, as he tells New York, “I wasn’t buying and selling cryptocurrency, because I think it’s stupid.” Meanwhile, Freeman recently told a caller to the radio show if he has any regrets about his actions, he says, “Is there something I regret? I mean, of course not. This is my mission. I’ve been given this mission from God to get this alternative form of value into people’s hands.”

WPHT, Philadelphia to Present Nine-Hour 9/11 Anniversary Program Remote Broadcast. Philadelphia news/talk outlet WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11 with a live, remote broadcast on Friday (9/10) from the Doylestown Firehouse. The program is titled, “9/11 Through The Eyes Of…” and begins at 6:00 am and runs through 3:00 pm. WPHT personalities Dom Giordano, Dawn Stensland and Rich Zeoli will honor first responders, then and now. Listeners will hear stories highlighting local firefighters and police officers who showed heroism on 9/11, as well as family members who were touched by this life-changing event. Through the station’s partnership with the Travis Manion Foundation, WPHT is raising donations to support local first responders and to show gratitude for their ongoing dedication to the community. This is another example of the Audacy station’s practice of producing documentary specials addressing news events and historic milestones for which it has been getting positive industry attention.

Mancow Returns to Live Broadcasting with New Show. Radio personality Erich “Mancow” Muller is launching what he calls a live podcast and says it will be “everything Mancow’s ‘Militia of Love’ members have come to expect.” “Monday Night Live with Mancow” is a weekly, full-length live episode covering current events. He’s also debuting, “Microaggressions,” a series of short webisodes featuring random thoughts and “throwback” content throughout the week. “Monday Night Live with Mancow” airs Mondays at 8:00 pm ET via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter (via Periscope), Twitch and Rumble. Episodes are available to re-watch immediately following the live stream and are additionally uploaded to Bitchute and syndicated as an audio podcast through Spotifiy’s syndication platform Anchor.fm and is available on Spotify, Apple and other popular podcast platforms. Mancow says, “We wanted to create the least amount of friction possible between our listeners and our content and ensure that if we get censored or deplatformed by the tech monopolies, there are plenty of additional options to access our show. The new Mancow 2.0 is pure Mancow minus the well-paid, annoying sidekick chuckleheads. Everything we hear now is pre-chewed corporate pablum puked into America’s psyche. This is something else.”

Joe Mathieu’s ‘Sound On’ to Air on ‘Bloomberg Radio’ in Boston. The “Sound On” program hosted by longtime Boston news radio personality Joe Mathieu is joining the programming lineup at Beasley Media Group’s WRCA-AM/WBOS-HD2/W291CZ “Bloomberg Radio” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The station says, “Anchored by Bloomberg Washington correspondent Joe Mathieu, the one-hour news program delivers insight and analysis on the latest headlines from the White House and Capitol Hill, including conversations with influential lawmakers and key figures in politics and policy.” The program currently airs in Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, and nationally on SiriusXM. During his career, Mathieu has anchored morning drive programs at all-news WBZ-AM and public radio news/talk WGBH-FM in Boston.

Griffin Communications’ KTSB-AM, Tulsa Adds FOX Sports Programming. The new Tulsa sports talk outlet KTSB-AM “The Blitz 1170 AM” (formerly news/talk KFAQ-AM) is adding FOX Sports Radio programming for its evening hours. Griffin Broadcasting says FOX Sports will air from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am daily and 24/7 on weekends. Shows heard on weeknights will include: “Outkick The Coverage,” “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” and “The Ben Maller Show.” KTSB-AM program director Jeremie Poplin says, “We’re excited to launch a station with great local personalities combined with the excellent resources of FOX Sports Radio. We could not have asked for a better partnership.”

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Ranker for July. This data from Triton Digital is based on Triton’s listing of the top performing digital audio publishers as measured by its Streaming Metrics and Webcast Metrics measurement services. The following ranks U.S. publishers’ U.S. streaming based on Average Active Sessions for Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight for July of 2021. iHeartMedia leads the top 20 with more than 280,000 AAS. Other U.S. broadcasters include: Audacy at #3 with 57,466 AAS; Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 with 38,856 AAS; Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 with 16,276 AAS; Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 with 13,845 AAS; Salem Communications at #11 with 8,346 AAS; Urban One at #12 with 6,677 AAS; Bonneville International at #13 with 6,432 AAS; and Midwest Communications at #18 with 4,464 AAS. See the complete report here.

TALKERS News Notes. New WABC, New York talk show host James Golden, of “The Bo Snerdley Show,” announces the formation of the Golden-TIPP Poll. Golden is partnering with TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics to present “issue-specific surveys of public opinion involving emerging political policies.” Golden says, “Objectivity and accuracy are paramount in providing information, so people can make informed decisions about their lives. I can think of no better partner for providing radio listeners with the political, historical and socio-economic information they need than TIPP.”…..SportsMap Radio is adding “Pushing the Odds Sunday” to its weekend program schedule. This edition is an offshoot of the network’s midday sports gambling show “Pushing The Odds with Matt Perrault.” Perrault’s new Sunday show airs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET and will use sports betting information to further the discussion about what is going on every Sunday in the NFL. Perrault is being joined on the show by former Western Michigan linebacker and current market analyst for Betfred Sports, Jason Sylva. They will update the audience on the games plus preview the SNF matchup from a betting perspective…..The National Football League and iHeartMedia announce the NFL’s Podcast Network programming lineup for this season. Earlier this year, the NFL and iHeartMedia announced an exclusive partnership to launch the NFL’s Podcast Network that includes the distribution of NFL Media’s existing podcasts, certain Member Club podcasts, and the co-production and distribution of two dozen new original shows with the iHeartPodcast Network. Available to listeners will be the six existing podcasts plus six podcasts new for this season…..Shining City Audio, a recently launched history-focused podcast studio joint-venture between C13Originals and Jon Meacham, announce details for “It Was Said: Sports.” This new documentary podcast franchise is being narrated by NBA legend Doc Rivers and features some of the most important and inspirational sports speeches throughout history. Drawing from powerful figures like Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, and Hank Aaron, season one takes listeners through six speeches whose impact, legacy, and significance goes far beyond the world of sports.

COVID-19/Coronavirus Research Revelation, Afghanistan, Texas Abortion Law, Biden Social Safety Net Bill, Hurricane Ida Aftermath/California Wildfires, and Newsom Recall Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/7). The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., concerns about new variants, and mask & vaccine mandates plus The Intercept’s report that the NIH did fund coronavirus research in Wuhan; the aftermath of the U.S.’s exit from Afghanistan; the battle over the restrictive Texas abortion law; Democrats ramp up efforts to pass trillions in funding for improved social services; slow recovery in the areas of the country impacted by Hurricane Ida and the ongoing California wildfires; and the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, August 30, 2021

| August 30, 2021

Anti-Vaxxer Bernier Loses Three-Week COVID Fight. This time last week, we reported news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville afternoon drive personality Phil Valentine’s COVID-19-related death. Now, another conservative radio host who publicly spoke out against COVID-19 vaccines has died from the coronavirus: Marc Bernier, 65, passed away Saturday (8/28) after a nearly month-long battle against the virus. A Daytona Beach market fixture for more than three decades, the Rhode Island native who characterized himself as “Mr. Anti-Vax” did a morning commentary; a three-hour afternoon program; weekend shows; and specials for Southern Stone Communications news/talk WNDB “AM 1150 & FM 93.5.” The station released news of Bernier’s death on its Twitter account by stating, “It is with great sadness that [we] announce the passing of Marc Bernier, who informed and entertained listeners on WNDB for over 30 years.” After being off-the-air for a week, Bernier entered the hospital on August 7.  In an article published in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Mark Harper points out that Bernier, “interviewed countless governors, senators, mayors, sheriffs, journalists, historians and authors. He also was an outspoken opponent of vaccinations.” Sports Network International vice president Justin Gates co-hosted “Weekend Around the House” with Bernier and was the best man at Bernier’s wedding. Gates was quoted as saying that Bernier gave “all sides” and wouldn’t “bully, throw punches, do potshots, or anything for ratings – that’s why he [was] so popular.” A guest on Bernier’s WNDB radio show the past 15 years, Volusia County sheriff Mike Chitwood comments, “I’m numb – this is a death in the family to me. You don’t have to agree with everything a person says for them to be your friend – I don’t think a lot of people get that. [Our] off-the-air banter was priceless. A great stress reliever for me was the things we would talk about, laugh about, and the jokes we would exchange. More than anything, I will miss how funny he could be, and how we’d try to one-up each other with funny anecdotal stories.” Florida-based CBS News Radio correspondent Peter King’s first radio news job was at WNDB and included anchoring on Bernier’s afternoon show. On his Facebook page, King writes, “I enjoyed working with him and we remained in touch for a while after that. Marc was the proverbial big fish in a small pond, becoming an integral and influential force in the community and really turning himself into a cottage industry that allowed him a wonderful quality of life in Daytona Beach. Whether you agreed with his points or not, he was always interesting; engaging; well-informed; involved; and a fine broadcaster. There was always room for more than just his opinion. I’m pretty sure that he helped make a lot of money for his radio station during his 30 years there. I was saddened to read reports that he was very publicly anti-vaccine on-air and was hospitalized with COVID; I’m even more saddened by his death.” After Bernier was hospitalized, WNDB operations director Mark McKinney was uncertain if the talk host was vaccinated. According to progressive news website/online tabloid Raw Story, McKinney remarked, “If you’ve listened to his show, you’ve heard him talk about how anti-vaccine he is on the air.” In his final tweet published on July 30, Bernier wrote that the United States government was “acting like Nazis because officials were urging people to get vaccinated.” WNDB emphasizes on Twitter, “We kindly ask that privacy is given to Marc’s family during this time of grief.”

Monday Memo: Which of These 7 Mistakes Are You Making On-Air? Validating the consultant caricature, Holland Cooke ticks-off what ticks-off listeners. Most of these are not intentional on the part of the talk host but they can signal a host who is not completely prepared, doesn’t hear things through the ears of the listener, or has acquired a bunch of bad habits, probably due to a lack of coaching. Read his column here.

 

Pending Business: Checking In. You’ve noticed how so many retailers “check-in” with you after your purchase – usually via email or text – to make sure you’re happy. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about sales managers checking in with sales leads to make sure they are being served by the sales rep. He says this is not about micro-managing and most managers trust most of their reps, but there are several reasons the “Check-In” plays an important role in the sales process. Read his column here.

Dawn Stensland to Host Late Mornings at WPHT, Philadelphia. WPHT morning drive co-host Dawn Stensland is getting her own two-hour radio talk show from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon beginning September 7. She is currently co-anchor of the Audacy station’s morning drive “Rich Zeoli Show” and will continue in that role. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We’re excited to grow Dawn’s role with the station with the launch of her new midday show, where she will speak with top local newsmakers for in-depth analysis of stories that affect the Philadelphia region. Dawn’s show, along with an extra hour of Rich Zeoli, and Dom Giordano’s new program time extends our local content to nine hours, which allows us to best serve our local listeners, while continuing to deliver some of the biggest names on the national stage.” Stensland says, “I’m grateful to Rich Zeoli and his ‘army’ of loyal listeners for believing in me since I joined the show six years ago. I am so proud to work with Audacy and I’m also so thankful for their commitment to showcase a diverse collection of local voices as we engage with people across our region about the issues of the day and the news that impacts us here at home.”

KMVP-FM, Phoenix Makes AM Drive Change; Replaces ‘Doug and Wolf’ with ‘Bickley and Marotta.’ A series of programming changes at Bonneville’s Phoenix sports talk outlet KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” has the midday team of Dan Bickley (left) and Vince Marotta (right) moving to morning drive, taking over for the current morning show hosted by Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, effective September 7. Wolfley moves to middays with a new show (in addition to his current role as Arizona Cardinals radio broadcast analyst) joined by Luke Lapinski for “The Wolf and Luke Show.” Doug Franz remains with the station as he transitions to digital contributor on ArizonaSports.com. Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “I cannot say thank you enough to both Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, who along with being great broadcasters, are both first-class people that have made tremendous contributions to the Arizona Sports brand and our community.  Vice president of programming Ryan Hatch adds, “Doug and Wolf had the longest, most successful run in Valley sports radio history, and we are so appreciative of all of their great efforts over the years. But now is the time to bring a new energy to mornings with an ensemble cast that will jumpstart each day with strong opinions and plenty of laughs.” Bickley and Marotta state, “We are so pumped up to start the Valley sports conversation every morning on one of the biggest sports brands in the country. This is going to be a blast.”

WEEI/NESN Radio-Telethon Raises More than $3.8 million to Fight Cancer. The 19th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” raised more than $3.8 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Audacy sports talk outlet has been partnering with New England Sports Network to present the event since 2003 and since WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002 has raised more than $62 million for the cause. The 36-hour live broadcast took place on August 24 and 25. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Tim Clarke states, “We’re completely inspired to see the New England community from so many different walks of life come together to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s selfless mission. The annual ‘Jimmy Fund’ event is synonymous with this region and, in a year where we’ve faced adversity unlike any other, being able to unite with our audience to help strike out cancer is a true testament to our resiliency.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate station WRVA, Richmond, Virginia in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. With this addition, the Starnes Media Group program is now heard on more than 110 affiliate stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR-AM, Chicago “The Score” and WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “The Fan” brand manager Mitch Rosen is also adding the title director of operations for BetQL Network, which is providing sports betting programming to Audacy’s sports talk stations. Audacy VP of sports Matt Volk says, “Mitch Rosen has been at the forefront of all the planning, operations and execution of this seamless expansion. He has been a trusted leader and point of contact for so many important BetQL Network initiatives. We are thrilled with Mitch’s daily dedication to all of his stations, its people and Audacy.”…..Radio programmer and consultant Mike McVay is being inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame on October 16. The ceremony will take place at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington, West Virginia. McVay began his radio career at WEIF, Moundsville in 1974. He also served with WNEU, Wheeling and WCHS, Charleston…..PodcastOne announces the launch of Doug Ellin’s “Hollywood Wayz” weekly podcast and vodcast with co-host, rapper and actress BRE-Z. “Hollywood Wayz” debuts September 9. The vodcast is available on LiveXLive and YouTube. The production includes a partnership with actor and director Kevin Connolly’s Action Park Media, where the show will be recorded weekly.

Afghanistan Pullout, COVID-19, Hurricane Ida Hits Louisiana, Global Supply Chain Troubles, North Korea Re-Starts Nuclear Program, Gavin Newsom Recall, Talk Host Marc Bernier Dies from COVID-19, and Ed Asner Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The U.S.’s deadly exit from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden’s meeting the return of the slain military personnel at Dover, and the Taliban’s terrorist strategies; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the battles over mask and vaccine mandates; Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana leaving New Orleans without power; the effect COVID-19 is having on global supply chains; U.S. intelligence indicates North Korea is again producing plutonium; California Governor Gavin Newsom is on the ropes as the recall election looms; Daytona Beach talk host Marc Bernier dies after a battle with COVID-19, and actor Ed Asner dies at 91 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

| April 6, 2017

Shelley Rises to Executive Director of RTDNA/F.  Longtime association member, former chairman of the board and current foundation secretary/treasurer Dan Shelley is named incoming executive director of the RTDNA and the RTDNF.   He’ll begin his new position in September.  Shelley is a veteran Edward. R. Murrow Award-winning radio, television and digital media executive.  He’s served in key news positions with iHeartMedia, Radio One, CBS Television Stations and Journal Broadcast Group.  He began his career at KTTS-AM/FM in Springfield, Missouri. RTDNA/F board chairman Vincent Duffy states, “Dan’s unique blend of experience, energy and deep understanding of our mission will position us for growth and continued success.  His passion and dedication make him an ideal leader for our organization.”  Shelley comments on his new position, “I am honored to take on this exciting new challenge at a critical time for our profession.  More than ever, RTDNA plays an essential role in defending the rights of electronic journalists.  I am looking forward to serving our members and advocating on their behalf.”  This spring and summer, Shelley will oversee the development of RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  Current executive director Mike Cavender, who previously announced his intention to retire, will provide transition assistance to the organizations through the end of the year.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago Media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl’s disappearance from his afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM for more than a week.  Feder writes that “an upbeat and energetic Steve Dahl returned to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 Wednesday (4/5) more than a week after he landed in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis. ‘I’m on some kind of weird diet right now,’ Dahl, 62, told listeners. ‘I really honestly am just so glad to not be in the hospital and not in pain.  They can take away whatever they want from me in terms of eating.  I can live with it.’”  Read Feder’s column here…..WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli afternoon drive program is honored with an excellence in broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters in the category of Outstanding Local Personality or Team for large market stations.  In a memo to staffers, program executive producer Greg Stocker writes, “Host Rich Zeoli and news anchor Dawn Stensland were recognized for their outstanding broadcast abilities and the Rich Zeoli show has brought home WPHT’s first award for this category.  A very big congrats to Rich and the whole PM drive team.  These awards are never won alone, with lots of tireless work off the air helping make all of our shows successful.”…..The team of Mike Rutherford and John Ramsey exits Union Broadcasting Louisville’s sports talk WLCL-FM, Louisville “93.9 The Ville.”  In a post on SB Nation Card Chronicle, Rutherford shares his reasons for leaving the station’s afternoon show.  He writes, in part, that “Working multiple jobs that I really and truly love is an unbelievable blessing, but all of them reaching their maximum level of demand at the same time is taxing.”…..Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Elvira Salazar enters into a multi-year deal with Creative Talent Inc. for representation encompassing her work in television, radio, blogging and digital media.  Salazar is a nightly news anchor with Mega TV and serves as a columnist with Newsmax Insider.  Creative Talent president and CEO Steve Gallagher states, “Elvira has covered every major breaking news event in the past 25 years and regularly speaks out on immigration issues across the country on media outlets such as FOX News and FOX Business and she is a popular guest on radio talk shows nationwide.  We are thrilled to be working with Elvira Salazar in getting her message out on every platform.”…..The central division of the Kroger grocery chain is honoring Neuhoff Communications’ WSOY, Decatur, Illinois “News/Talk 1340AM 103.3 FM” with its “Community Partner of the Year” award.  WSOY was nominated and chosen for this prestigious honor for the impact of the WSOY Community Food Drive, an event that has raised more than 7.9 million pounds of food for local food pantries in its 15-year history.  WSOY was chosen based on several key performance criteria, as well as general cooperation and enthusiasm toward achieving mutual goals.  Previous honorees of the Community Partner of the Year Award include the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Lottery.  Vendors honored at the awards this year included Red Bull, The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the Hershey Company…..Salem Media Group announces that Heath Garlutzo will move from the company’s Phoenix station group where he’s been general sales manager to Colorado Springs to assume the general manager role there…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Neil Sargent, who passed recently from complications from lung cancer at age 85.  Sargent was a much-loved broadcast executive whose last gig before retirement was CEO of TM Century.  He’d also served with syndicators Unistar, Transtar.  During his long career, he also managed radio stations.

New Categories, Broad Scope of Esteemed Jury Panel Mark 2017 New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs’ Awards.  This year marks the 35th annual “World’s Best Radio Programs” awards presented by New York FestivalsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian speaks with New York Festivals International Radio Program competition executive director Rose Anderson, who tells him the competition is unique because virtually everything is covered from news programs; news features; documentaries; entertainment; drama; talk; promos; audio books; podcasts; and student work.  Anderson says “It really is all things audio.  It is most important to us that we make New York Festivals Radio Program awards a destination for people all over the world who are creating radio that is interesting, innovative, and of very high quality…This year, we have added four pretty interesting categories.  They are ‘Best Live News Special,’ ‘Music Podcast,’ ‘Personalized Podcast,’ and ‘Heroes Documentary,’ with the latter a bit more than a biography profile documentary.  ‘Heroes’ would be ordinary people whose extraordinary acts have influenced others.” Read more about the New York Festivals International Radio Program competition here.

Gorsuch Nomination, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Bannon Exits NSC, Trump and Xi Jinping Meeting, North Korea Missile Threats, Syrian Gas Attack, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5).  The status of the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents and Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking them; presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon exits the National Security Council; President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting at Mar-a-Lago; concerns about North Korea’s advancing nuclear missile program; the deadly gas attack on Syrian civilians and the political blame game; and the first games of the Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hanging with the GOAT.  WQAM, Miami afternoon show personalities (from l-r) Zach Krantz, Channing Crowder, and Marc Hochman – of the “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show – chatted with all-time victories records-holder and Miami Dolphins legendary coach Don Shula (seated) at a recent remote broadcast at Shula’s Steakhouse in Miami Lakes, Florida.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Twenty-seven year radio pro Lori Tournay Liggett is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media Nashville’s music stations country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” and WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon,” and urban contemporary WQQK “92Q.”  Liggett joined Cumulus Nashville in 2015 as general sales manager for WQQK.  Prior to that, she was with CBS RADIO Detroit.  She states, “I am honored to lead the WQQK, WSM-FM and WKDF sales team.  Broadcast and digital media is constantly evolving and Cumulus Nashville puts local client solutions, employee development and our communities at the forefront of everything we do.  I look forward to continuing these efforts.”…..Rock KFMB, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM” afternoon personality Mike Vasquez is promoted to program director for the Midwest Television station.  He takes over for Garett Michaels, who exited the PD post in January…..Danny Hill is back with Alpha Media’s CHR KLLY, Bakersfield “Energy 95.3” as program director.  Hill posts on Facebook that he’s psyched to be back at the station.  He exited KLLY two years ago to take a management gig at Hawaii Media’s Kauai station group…..iHeartRadio’s “Artist Stories,” presented by State Farm, was honored for the Best Film & Video – Unscripted (Branded) category in the 21st Annual Webby Awards – an international award that honors excellence on the Internet…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of a number of acts to its Daytime Village Presented by Capital One at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.  New artists added to the bill include: Halsey, Little Mix, Bleachers, Niall Horan, Bebe Rexha, and Cheat Codes.

Bi-Partisan PROMOTE Act Would Let Copyright Owners Opt Out of Uncompensated Radio Airplay for Their Songs.  Radio station owners – as well as the National Association of Broadcasters – are no happier with this new bill (fully titled the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act) sponsored by U.S. Reps Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) than they were with the recently filed Fair Play Fair Pay Act that would force payments to AM/FM stations for playing copyrighted material.  This PROMOTE Act would allow copyright holders of electronic performances – in most cases the record companies themselves – to not allow their material to be aired by AM/FM stations if they don’t believe they’re being compensated fairly.  Issa says this proposal hits both sides of the free-play-in-exchange-for-promotion argument where they live.  Issa says, “Our bill puts forward a workable solution that would allow those who would otherwise be paid a performance right to opt out of allowing broadcasters to play their music if they feel they’re not being appropriately compensated.  This is a win-win that helps solve this decades-long problem in a way that’s fair to both parties.”  Radio station owners hate the idea almost as much as being forced to pay the copyright fees.  But TALKERS editors wonder how many labels would really remove their music from AM/FM playlists unless they are paid.  This could also adversely affect certain radio stations and not others.  Remember that iHeartMedia and Cumulus have negotiated deals (the details of which are private) with a number of major labels and label groups that include compensation for AM/FM airplay.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

| April 5, 2017

Dave Ramsey Plays Philly’s Tower Theater.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour stopped in Philly on Tuesday (4/4) where Ramsey presented before a sold-out crowd at the historic Tower Theater.  Joining Ramsey was Chris Brown, financial expert and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship.”  Ramsey and affiliate CBS RADIO Talk Radio 1210 WPHT worked together to promote the event.   WPHT program director Jared Hart states, “We’re so excited to be a part of Dave’s first live event in Philadelphia.  His bond with listeners is unparalleled and watching his personal interactions with them is truly amazing to see.  We’re so happy to have Dave on WPHT and are looking forward to more events like this in the future.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: WPHT morning news anchor Paige Powers, SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, Dave Ramsey, afternoon news anchor Dawn Stensland, midday talk host Dom Giordano, and Jared Hart.

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USA Radio Network Syndicates Wayne Allyn Root Show.  Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root joins the USA Radio Network for national syndication of his daily radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Root – who is an author and columnist, TV host and producer, and the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee – was an early supporter of President Donald Trump and served as opening speaker at six of candidate Trump’s Las Vegas rallies.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “I am extremely excited to announce the addition of Wayne Allyn Root to the daily lineup of shows available on a market exclusive basis from USA Radio.  Wayne has shown by his incredible ratings and sponsorship success in Las Vegas that he will be a national star in syndicated radio.”

FOX Sports Radio: Cowherd Podcast Tops 5 Million Listens Mark. According to data as measured by ART19, the total podcast listens for the month of March for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” hit 5.7 million.  FOX Sports Radio says it marks the first time that total podcast listens for the program have surpassed the 5 million mark.  FOX goes on to say that Cowherd’s TheHerdNow.com – the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd – attracted more than half a million page views – a new record for the site.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” announces that Chicago Cubs players Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta will be part of a new segment on the “Bernstein and Goff Show” with Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff.  WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “It’s an extreme honor to welcome a league MVP and a recent Cy Young award winner to the Score team and it’s beyond a grand slam for the Score brand.  The content Kris and Jake will add to the Bernstein and Goff show will bring the audience into the clubhouse, on the field, and other places the average fan can’t experience.”…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will broadcast the 2017 All Star Day Live radiothon on May 24 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm from the pavilion at Pagano’s Market & Bar in Center City Philadelphia.  The station’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Philly-based American Association for Cancer Research.  WPEN-FM personalities Anthony Gargano, Rob Ellis, Harry Mayes and Mike Missanelli will rotate in overlapping, two-hour shifts throughout the day, joined by many of The Fanatic’s popular guest players and analyst commentators.

Trump Campaign Surveillance Issue, Syrian Chemical Attack, North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat, Gorsuch Nomination, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, DOJ to Review Police Consent Decrees, and Tony Romo Leaves Cowboys for CBS Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Questions about what role Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have played in the surveillance of Trump campaign personnel; the search for the source of the deadly chemical attack in Syria; North Korea launches another ICBM and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s response; the status of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; reports that several advertisers have pulled spots from FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly show in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment of company staffers by the cable channel personality; Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructs the Justice Department to review Obama-era consent decrees with police departments; and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s intent to retire from the NFL to start a broadcasting career with CBS Sports were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Oldies are back on the air in Youngstown, Ohio as Cumulus Media flips alternative rock WWIZ “Rock 104” to oldies as “Z104 The Valley’s Good Time Oldies.”  iHeartMedia flipped crosstown WBBG from oldies to country last April and Cumulus VP/market manager Bill Kelly states, “For almost a year, listeners and advertisers have told us how much they miss oldies on the radio.  We are very pleased to fill that void with ‘Z104,’ Youngstown’s destination oldies station.”…..In Houston, CBS RADIO unveils the new morning show set to launch on hot AC KHMX “Mix 96-5” on Monday (4/10).  Director of programming Chase Murphy says “The Morning Mix with Sarah Pepper, Geoff Sheen and Lauren Kelly” represents a “dynamic team that will give our listeners a fresh and unique way to start their day.”  Pepper comes from CBS RADIO Houston’s sister station KKHH-FM, the former “Hot 95.7.”  Sheen joins the team from San Antonio’s KTKR and Kelly moves to mornings after hosting the afternoon show…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting rock WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois adds Mo Lightning to the “3rd String Morning Show” with program director Wes Styles.  Mo takes over for the departing Kaytie.  Mo Lightning was most recently the host/moderator for the Wizard World Comic Con tour at which he moderated for the likes of William Shatner, Stan Lee (creator of Marvel Comics), the cast of “The Walking Dead,” various WWE Superstars, and countless more.  Styles comments, “We’re proud to have such an entertaining personality join our ranks.  Mo brings a lot to the table and now our plan for complete domination continues.  We’re coming for a three-peat at next year’s awards!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio personality and award-winning musician Keith Sweat returns for an additional run of his limited engagement,“Keith Sweat: Last Forever” show in the Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas from July 5 through July 22.  This all comes in connection with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sweat’s triple-platinum album, Make It Last Forever (Elektra)…..Townsquare Media’s annual Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, New York announces the lineup for this year’s June 16-18 event.  Among the 39 acts playing over three days are: The String Cheese Incident, The Head & The Heart, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Gary Clark Jr., St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and more.