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September 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| October 6, 2021

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

Nielsen Audio’s September 2021 survey period covered August 19 – September 15.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty.

Also cited are each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are August 2021 – September 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” (Washington Football Team) 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #10 to #13

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 9.2 – 8.5, -.7, first to second

Sports Talk: In the Audacy cluster, WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) steady at 1.9, #18 to #17; WJFK-FM’s internet stream, .5 – .6, +.1, #24 to #20; and WTEM “980 The Team” (Washington Football Team) .4 – .6, +.2, #20

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 6.6 – 7.4, +.8, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WMMJ, first month, 8.9 – 8.8, -.1

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase (Tie): public radio news/talk WAMU; classic hits-oldies WIAD; and CHR WIHT (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: urban AC WHUR (-1.3)

BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 3.8 – 3.9, +.1, anchored in ninth-place

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 6.2 – 6.6, +.4, repeats at #3

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (New England Patriots) 5.8 – 7.4, +1.6, sixth to first

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” (Red Sox) 3.4 – 3.9, +.5, #11 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University’s WBUR 4.1 – 4.0, -.1, unchanged at #8

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 3.2 – 2.9, -.3, #12 to #13

Number One 6+: sports talk WBZ-FM, first month, 5.8 – 7.4, +1.6

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: sports talk WBZ-FM (+1.6)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: CHR WXKS-FM (-1.0)

MIAMI

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” 3.6 – 3.4, -.2, #10 to #11

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” 2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #15 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 3.3 – 3.5, +.2, #11 to #9

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT, first month, 7.7 – 8.7, +1.0

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WHQT (+1.0)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WFEZ (-1.0)

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” (Seahawks) 7.3 – 7.1, -.2, #1

News: Lotus Communications’ KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 5.8 – 5.4, -.4, repeats at #3

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” (Mariners and Seahawks) flat at 3.9, remains in ninth-place

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 4.7 – 5.4, +.7, sixth to third

Number One 6+: news/talk KIRO-FM, third straight month, 7.3 – 7.1, -.2

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: alternative KEXP (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: rock KISW (-1.4)

DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 4.6 – 3.8, -.8, #10 to #12

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” 5.7 – 5.5, -.2, repeats in fourth-place

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers and Lions) 5.4 – 5.5, +.1, fifth to fourth

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Michigan’s WUOM 1.6 – 1.7, +.1, #19 to #18

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies WOMC, second month in a row, 7.2 – 7.4, +.2

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WMXD (+.5)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: news/talk WJR (-.8)

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 5.0 – 4.5, -.5, second to fifth

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” (Arizona Cardinals) 3.4 – 3.7, +.3, tenth to ninth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station” 2.2 – 2.1, -.1, #22 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, #11 to #10

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, eleventh consecutive month, 6.7 – 7.3, +.6

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: adult hits KYOT (+1.1)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies KOAI (-1.1)

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO “News Talk 830” (Twins) 4.8 – 5.2, +.4, eighth to sixth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK-AM “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, remains at #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” (Minnesota Vikings) 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, #12 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 7.2 – 7.5, +.3, repeats in third-place

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, third successive month, 7.9 – 8.7, +.8

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KQQL (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (-1.0)

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOGO “News Radio 600” 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, eighth to fourth; KGB-AM “760 AM” 1.4 – 2.1, +.7, #22 to #16; and KFI “AM 640” 1.9 – 2.0, +.1, #20 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 4.6 – 5.2, +.6, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Local Media San Diego-programmed rhythmic hot AC XHRM, second consecutive month, 6.1 – 6.8, +.7

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase (Tie): rhythmic hot AC XHRM and news/talk KGB-AM (+.7)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: CHR KHTS (-1.3)

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 3.7 – 4.4, +.7, ninth to sixth

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 2.8 – 3.3, +.5, #14 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays) 2.6 – 2.8, +.2, locked at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 2.8 – 3.2, +.4, #14 to #12

Number One 6+: contemporary Christian WCIE, third month in a row, 7.8 – 8.6, +.8

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian WCIE (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: hot AC WMTX (-1.4)

DENVER

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOA “News Radio 850” (Rockies and Broncos) 2.8 – 2.9, +.1, #13 to #15; KHOW “Talk Radio 630” 2.2 – 2.5, +.3, #20 to #16; and KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 2.2 – 2.3, +.1, #20 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 2.5 – 3.0, +.5, #15 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 4.5 – 5.3, +.8, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Bonneville country KYGO, first month, 6.4 – 7.1, +.7

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk KCFR (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: classic rock KRFX (-1.2)

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” (Ravens) 3.9 – 3.7, -.2, anchored in ninth-place

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 3.1 – 2.9, -.2, #13 to #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) 4.5 – 4.3, -.2, repeats at #7

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 3.9 – 3.5, -.4, #9 to #11

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, ninth consecutive month, 8.1 – 8.6, +.5

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: classic rock WZBA (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: urban contemporary WERQ (-.9)

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” (Cardinals) flat at 6.0, seventh to eighth and co-owned KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” 4.5 – 3.7, -.8, #10 to #14

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK-FM “104.9 The Patriot” 2.1 – .5, -1.6 #17 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #13 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 3.3 – 4.2, +.9, #15 to #10

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, ninth consecutive month, 11.1 – 11.0, -.1

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WFUN (+1.0)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: news/talk KTLK-FM (-1.6)

Note: Three days before the start of the September 2021 sweep (8/16), iHeartMedia flipped urban AC KMJM to news/talk KTLK-FM.

 

Up next: September 2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus.

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

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

| September 15, 2021

NAB Pulls Back from In-Person NAB Show in Las Vegas. This year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas – planned for October 9-13 – is being cancelled. NAB executive vice president and managing director of global connections and events Chris Brown issued the following statement today (9/15): “For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community. As we have always kept the best interest and safety of the industry as our priority, it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person. NAB Show is the premiere destination for the media and entertainment industry and we will not move forward with a show that delivers anything less than the excellence our community has come to expect and deserves from us. While we are disappointed that we will not be together again in person next month, we look forward to converging at the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27, 2022, to reignite our passion for our business and focus on a bright future ahead. Stay tuned for details regarding virtual options for accessing select 2021 NAB Show content through NAB Amplify.” Reacting to the NAB announcement, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “This is an extremely unfortunate turn of events. As a convention-planning organization, TALKERS empathizes with the amount of forethought, coordination, and resources that are invested in presenting these industry gatherings. No doubt, this is a tough blow for the NAB and the industry.  At TALKERS we were very lucky to be able to squeeze our live conference in this year on June 11 which seemed to be a window of calm opportunity between two waves of the coronavirus. I strongly suggest those who have yet to view the video recordings of every session – many that dealt productively with radio’s existential issues and are still extremely pertinent – do so at their convenience.” To view the videos from Talkers 2021, please click here.

Audacy and Cumulus Media Strike Deal for Digital Distribution Partnership. This content distribution deal between Audacy and Cumulus Media puts streaming audio from Cumulus’s 413 radio stations and its portfolio of podcasts onto the Audacy digital platform. Cumulus SVP of digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky says, “We’re delighted with this opportunity to expand listeners’ ability to discover and connect with our stations and podcasts through the Audacy app. This partnership is in sync with our strategy of distributing our content through multiple platforms to make it available anywhere and anytime people want to enjoy it.” Audacy VP of business development Corey Podolsky comments, “The addition of Cumulus’s expansive portfolio of leading radio stations enhances and bolsters Audacy’s position as the fastest growing digital platform for radio listeners. Audacy looks forward to building on this initial partnership with Cumulus and will continue to develop new and innovative ways to super serve our listeners.”

Bret Gogoel Named Producer for WLS-AM, Chicago’s John Howell Show. The afternoon drive “John Howell Show” at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago has a new executive producer as Bret Gogoel is named to the position. Gogoel takes over the role vacated by Mallory Vor Broker who was recently promoted to the news department covering city hall and the political beat for the station. She fills the role held for years by Bill Cameron, who retired. Gogoel has been a technical producer, fill-in producer, and podcast manager for WLS-AM since 2017 and was former play-by-play announcer for the Windy City Bulls basketball team. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “I am delighted to announce that Bret Gogoel will be the new executive producer of ‘The John Howell Show.’ Bret has worked for Cumulus for over four years and during his tenure has worn many hats including producing the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, the PoPo Report, the Trip Sisters and more. Bret has also been an integral ‘pinch-hitter’ producer who has regularly filled in to produce drive time programs. He is the perfect fit for our afternoon drive team.” Gogoel comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to step into the big shoes left by Mallory and work with a consummate professional like John Howell. I hope to take everything I’ve learned from my time here at WLS and continue to put out a top-notch product.”

‘Chad & Nate’ New Late Morning Show on KKFN, Denver. The exit of Orlando “The Big O” Franklin from Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” to join the staff of the San Francisco 49ers forced the station to make some programming changes. Now, KKFN program director Raj Sharan announces that Chad Brown (left) and Nate Jackson (right) will partner for the “Chad and Nate” show that will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am beginning September 20. He says, “We’ve received incredible feedback from listeners on both Chad and Nate, hoping to hear them more regularly on the station. Chad and Nate’s contrasting personalities and insightful perspectives will create a unique and entertaining program every day.” As a result of the new schedule, the programs that follow will all begin one hour earlier. Additionally, Sandy Clough – who co-hosted with Franklin – moves to evenings where he’ll work with Shawn Drotar on the new night show, “Sandy and Shawn.” Bonneville Denver SVP and market manager Bob Call adds, “I’m excited we can bring Chad and Nate together. We’ve been looking for a way to get them both involved in our lineup on a daily basis. In addition, teaming Sandy with Shawn in the evening will give Denver sports fans an objective, unbiased and unaffiliated postgame show following Nuggets, Avalanche and Rockies games.”

iHeartMedia Albany’s Kristen Delaney to Retire. Radio sales and management pro Kristen Delaney is retiring from her position as area president for iHeartMedia Albany, effective December 31, 2021. Delaney began her broadcasting career in 1989 as an account executive in Utica. She’s been serving as area president for Albany and Poughkeepsie, New York and Sussex, New Jersey since 2011. iHeartMedia Markets Group president Hartley Adkins says, “Rarely do you see someone so inspiring and skilled at their profession as Kristen Delaney. After almost 23 years with iHeartMedia, she still treated every day as a new adventure and those of us in her orbit all benefited. I applaud her in taking one more adventurous step to retirement. Kristen’s presence will be missed beyond words.”

WJCW-AM, Johnson City Host Tim Cable Succumbs to COVID-19. The Johnson City Press reports the death of WJCW-AM, Johnson City, Tennessee morning drive co-host Tim Cable at age 60 after a battle with COVID-19. Cable co-hosted the “Thinking Out Loud” morning drive show with Carl Swan. He was a longtime media figure in the market and was well known for his WJHL-TV series “Cable Country.” In addition his morning show work, he served as play-by-play announcer for Daniel Boone High School and David Crockett High School sports. Cable was a graduate of Hampton High School and East Tennessee State University. He started his radio career at WBEJ in Elizabethton before venturing into television where he anchored news, weather and sports.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow night (9/16), Nissan Stadium in Nashville – home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans – will be the site of a high school football game between the White House Blue Devils and Waverly Central Tigers. The latter school’s football facilities were destroyed by the recent flooding that hit the state. Titans Radio broadcaster Mike Keith approached Titans Radio and WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” operations manager Paul Mason about broadcasting the game and Mason says the result was a unanimous “yes.” Mason adds, “The entire Titans Radio team is humbled and looking forward to giving Waverly and White House an NFL broadcast experience. We can’t wait to hear ‘Tigers Radio’ Thursday night on ‘104-5 The Zone.’”…..Tom Griswold (pictured here in the studio) returned to his role as host of “The BOB & TOM Show” yesterday (9/14) after successful heart valve replacement surgery in mid-August and recovery at home in Indianapolis. Westwood One syndicates the program nationally (and on the American Forces Network worldwide) and says, “The comedic ringmaster of The BOB & TOM Show’s talent-packed ensemble cast was back in the studio in fine form this morning, entertaining the show’s loyal fans across the U.S.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $200,000-plus at 2021 Golf Tourney. The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised more than $200,000 to help broadcasters in need during Monday’s 2021 Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York. More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out to help support broadcasters who have experienced terrible loss due to illness or unforeseen disaster. BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “The Celebrity Golf Tournament is one of our biggest annual fundraising events. We had to cancel last year’s tournament due to the pandemic, and we are grateful to return this year and to have strong support from our sponsors and players. The money comes at a time when we are helping more broadcasters and their families than ever before. Our thanks also go to everyone who has generously supported the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation with a donation.”

Gavin Newsom Recall Election, COVID-19, Peril Book Allegations, Afghanistan Exit, Texas Abortion Law, January 6 Investigation/Justice for J6 Rally, Korean Tensions, Wildfires and Flooding, and Norm MacDonald Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/14). California Governor Gavin Newsom survives recall election; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, the battle over vaccine & mask mandates, and the deaths of anti-vaxxers; the new Bob Woodward book Peril details steps General Mark Milley took to prevent former President Donald Trump from “going rogue”; the U.S. military’s exit from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s control of the nation; the legal moves being attempted to combat Texas’ restrictive abortion law; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the September 18 “Justice for J6” rally; tensions on the Korean peninsula as both North and South Korea launch test missiles; the wildfires plaguing the U.S. West and the drenching rains of tropical depression Nicholas; and comedian and former “SNL” star Norm MacDonald dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

| September 14, 2021

WIP-FM, Philadelphia Names Rod Lakin Program Director. Philadelphia sports talk WIP-FM goes outside the Philly area for its new program director naming KMVP, Phoenix “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” PD Rod Lakin as its new brand manager. Lakin will take over for Spike Eskin, who recently joined Audacy’s WFAN, New York as program director on October 4. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I’m pleased to welcome Rod Lakin to the WIP team and begin the next chapter for our iconic station. Rod brings a breadth of experience and deep understanding of what works in the sports audio format, which I trust will position WIP for much success as the home for Philadelphia sports fans.” Lakin has spent nearly two decades in the spoken-word format in Phoenix, first joining “ESPN Radio 860″ and “Newsradio 620” KTAR in 2003. He was a founding member of “Sports 620 KTAR” upon its launch in 2007, serving in a variety of roles over the next several years including director of the Arizona Diamondbacks Radio Network. In 2014, Lakin was named executive producer for KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.” In 2018, Lakin added programming duties for “ESPN 620 AM” and was named program director of “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” in 2019.

iHeartMedia Denver Announces Programming Changes at KOA and KHOW. A number of changes at iHeartMedia Denver’s news/talk stations take place, effective September 20. First, Ross Kaminsky moves from KHOW where he’s been hosting the morning drive show to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show on sister KOA. He displaces the “Logan & Lewis” show but both Dave Logan and Rick Lewis move to the afternoon drive daypart for the all-new “The KOA Sports Zoo” that will also feature current PM drive personalities Alfred “Big Al” Williams and JoJo Turnbeaugh. At KHOW, Michael Brown moves from his early afternoon show to the morning drive daypart where he’ll host “The Situation with Michael Brown.” Filling the 2:00 pm to 4:00 slot on KHOW is regular KOA and KHOW fill-in host Leland Conway, who joins the ranks of the full-time personalities. Regarding Kaminsky, iHeartMedia notes that he’s been named “Best Talk News/Talk Show” by the Colorado Broadcasters Association and “Best Radio Talk Show Host” by Westword. “The KOA Sports Zoo” – in addition to its four main personalities – will feature Denver Broncos players and coaches, and other celebrities and will cover the MLB’s Colorado Rockies and University of Colorado Buffaloes. Michael Brown is “a fan-favorite and described by many as smart, funny and connected. As the Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA, Brown provides provocative insight into culture, current events and politics.” New full-time host Leland Conway is known as “a ‘happy libertarian,’ and has an uncanny ability to interview news makers, putting them at ease while cutting to the heart of the issue.” iHeartMedia Denver president Brenda Egger says, “Both KOA and KHOW have been serving Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West for close to a century. These enhancements further cement our position as the leading destination for unmatched news, talk and sports programming.”

Round Four of August 2021 PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2021 PPM survey has been released for the group of markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s August 2021 sweep covered July 22 – August 18. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM dips two-tenths to an 8.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and slides from the #2 to the #3 rank. Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee loses seven-tenths for an 8.2 share finish but remains ranked #1 while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WISN tacks on four-tenths for a 7.2 share finish and rises to the #3 rank. In Nashville, Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, “SuperTalk 99.7” rises to the #2 rank on the strength of a 1.5 share jump to a 7.8 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets (as well as the previous three rounds) here.

‘104-9 FOX Sports Upstate’ Launches in Greenville, SC. Gone from the 104.9 FM signal of WROO-FM, Greenville, South Carolina is the rock format and in is sports talk. iHeartMedia unveils “104-9 FOX Sports Upstate” that is airing the complete FOX Sports Radio national programming lineup with the addition of the two-hour afternoon drive show hosted by longtime South Carolina sports broadcaster Phil Kornblut. His program, “Sports Talk with Phil Kornblut,” airs from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly in addition to “Outkick The Coverage,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show” and “The Ben Maller Show.” iHeartMedia Asheville/Greenville SVP of programming Brian Hall says, “We’re excited to bring back the FOX Sports Radio brand to the Upstate. Our listeners will have access to the best names in sports talk, plus regional coverage. It’s also a natural pairing with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Game on Upstate!”

Cumulus Media Studies NFL Fans’ Use of Radio vs. TV. This study from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is based on research from GfK MRI, Ipsos, the NFL “Fan Tracker,” and a special Nielsen Portable People Meter analysis of NFL listening to national broadcasts and reveals the season-long reach of Westwood One’s NFL play-by-play broadcasts to be 56 million listeners. Cumulus Media chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard says, “The research indicates the profile of the radio sports play-by-play audience is surprisingly different from the TV audience. The TV audience consists of casual sports fans while the audio audience is far more passionate and engaged – they are far more likely to be seen as sports experts by their friends, play fantasy sports, and attend games – this provides brands with a highly attentive audience.” Other key findings from the study indicated that: sports betting is more prevalent among AM/FM radio sports listeners versus the TV sports audience; in the car, the AM/FM radio NFL play-by-play broadcast is the ‘best available screen’ for employed and upscale sports fans and according to GfK MRI, the profile of the AM/FM radio NFL audience is much more upscale; compared to average Americans, NFL AM/FM radio audiences spend 16% more. See the study results here.

Salem Media Group Closes Refinancing of 2024 Senior Secured Notes. In a statement released on Monday (9/13), Salem Media Group announces it has closed the refinancing of $112.8 million of its senior secured notes due 2024 by way of exchange and/or sale and purchase of $112.8 of such 2024 Notes into $114.7 (reflecting a call premium of 1.688%) of newly issued 7.125% Senior Secured Notes due 2028. After the refinancing, only $103.5 million of the 2024 Notes remain outstanding. At the same time, Salem has obtained commitments from the holders of the 2028 Notes to purchase up to $50 million in additional 2028 Notes, contingent upon Salem satisfying certain performance benchmarks, the proceeds of which are to be used exclusively to repurchase or repay 2024 Notes. Salem believes that the extended maturity of the 2028 Notes, the ability under the indenture governing the 2028 Notes to use certain asset sale proceeds and casualty loss proceeds to repurchase or repay the 2024 Notes, and the commitments to purchase up to $50 million in additional 2028 Notes, as well as certain other features of the refinancing, all contribute to the ability of Salem to pay the remaining 2024 Notes in full prior to or at maturity. Salem CEO Edward G, Atsinger III says, “With this refinancing and our expected future free cash flow generation, we believe Salem has a clear path to ultimately push out all of the rest of our outstanding debt maturities. It also provides flexibility to opportunistically invest in our business.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago-born stand-up comic Brian Babylon, a.k.a., “Prince of Bronzeville,” is named the new host of the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on Tavis Smiley’s talk outlet KBLA, Los Angeles. Feder notes that Babylon hosted “The Morning AMp” from 2011 to 2015 on Chicago Public Media’s Vocalo platform…..ABC Audio announces that Derricke Dennis is promoted to staff correspondent. In this role, he’ll report for all ABC Audio platforms, continue to anchor newscasts – as well as coverage of breaking news and special events – and he’ll be instrumental in the company’s efforts to build new products and reach new audiences. Dennis has been serving the company as a freelancer and anchoring ABC’s flagship I-NET newscast…..VSiN announces that Stormy Buonantony joins the sports betting network as the new host of “My Guys in the Desert.” In addition to covering college football for ESPN, Buonantony joins VSiN from AT&T SportsNet, where she was the rinkside reporter for the Vegas Golden Knights over the past two seasons. She says, “I’m so excited to expand my role and join the incredibly talented and knowledgeable team at VSiN full time. I’ve always joked that I grew up in a household where it didn’t matter who won or lost the game but rather by how many points they won or lost. This represents a special opportunity for me to combine my personal and professional backgrounds in my hometown of Las Vegas on a network committed to providing the best sports betting analysis out there.”…..Pet behaviorist and humorist Warren Eckstein celebrates 40 years in radio hosting, “The Pet Show With Warren Eckstein,” that is syndicated internationally by Radio America in 150 additional markets, including Guam and Canada.

COVID-19, California Recall, Afghanistan, January 6 Investigation/Justice for J6 Rally, Met Gala, Prince Andrew Case, California Wildfires/Tropical Storm Nicholas Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13). The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and the battle over vaccine mandates, and school mask requirements; today’s recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom; the aftermath of the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the looming Justice for J6 rally in Washington; U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wears a dress that says “tax the rich” to the Met Gala; Prince Andrew’s attorneys claim Jeffrey Epstein-related complaint is improper; and the wildfires in California and the threat of heavy rain in the Gulf south from Tropical Storm Nicholas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

August 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| September 10, 2021

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

Nielsen Audio’s August 2021 survey period covered July 22 – August 18.

Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty. He also cites each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are July 2021 – August 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” 3.7 – 3.3, -.4, #11 to #10

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 8.8 – 9.2, +.4, #1

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) 1.5 – 1.9, +.4, steady at #18

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 7.5 – 6.6, -.9, third to fourth

Number One 6+: news WTOP & WTLP, second straight month, 8.8 – 9.2, +.4

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: urban AC WMMJ (+1.9)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WASH (-1.1)

BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 3.5 – 3.8, +.3, locked at #9

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 5.9 – 6.2, +.3, fifth to third

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” 5.4 – 5.8, +.4, repeats at #6

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” (Red Sox) 2.9 – 3.4, +.5, continues at #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University’s WBUR 4.2 – 4.1, -.1, flat at #8

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #10 to #12

Number One 6+: Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR, third successive month, 9.1 – 7.5, -1.6

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): CHR WXKS-FM and rhythmic hot AC WBQT (+.7)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies WROR (-1.6)

MIAMI

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” 2.9 – 3.6, +.7, #12 to #10

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” 2.3 – 2.5, +.2, steady at #15

Fenix Broadcasting-owned WWFE “La Ponderosa” 1.8 – 1.7, -.1, flat at #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, #10 to #11

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ, third consecutive month, 9.6 – 8.6, -1.0

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): Spanish news/talk WAQI and CHR WFLC (+.7)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WFEZ (-1.0)

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” 7.8 – 7.3, -.5, #1

News: Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 6.3 – 5.8, -.5, fourth to third

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” (Mariners) 2.7 – 3.9, +1.2, #16 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, repeats at #6

Number One 6+: news/talk KIRO-FM, second straight month, 7.8 – 7.3, -.5

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: sports talk KIRO-AM (+1.2)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic rock KZOK (-1.0)

DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 3.8 – 4.6, +.8, #12 to #10

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” 5.8 – 5.7, -.1, third to fourth

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers) 5.5 – 5.4, -.1, flat at #5

Public Radio News/Talk: Wayne State University-owned WDET 1.5 – 1.7, +.2, #21 to #18

University of Michigan’s WUOM 1.7 – 1.6, -.1, #20 to #19

Number One 6+ (Tie): Beasley Media Group classic rock WCSX, third month in a row, 7.1 – 7.2, +.1 and Audacy classic hits-oldies WOMC, first month, 6.2 – 7.2, +1.0

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: urban AC WMXD (+1.1)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: rock WRIF (-.9)

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 3.8 – 5.0, +1.2, eighth to second

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” 2.9 – 3.4, +.5, #13 to #10

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 2.5 – 3.2, +.7, #18 to #11

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, tenth month in a row, 6.6 – 6.7, +.1

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: news/talk KFYI (+1.2)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: sports talk KMVP-FM (-3.9)

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO “News Talk 830” (Twins) 5.4 – 4.8, -.6, seventh to eighth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” 3.5 – 3.2, -.3, remains at #14

Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY “MY Talk 107.1” 1.3 – 1.5, +.2, #21 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” 4.6 – 4.2, -.4, #8 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 6.2 – 7.2, +1.0, fourth to third

Number One 6+ (Tie): iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, second successive month, 8.1 – 7.9, -.2 and Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM, first month, steady at 7.9

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk KNOW (+1.0)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: triple A KCMP (-.8)

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” 4.5 – 4.2, -.3, repeats at #8 and co-owned KFI “AM 640” 2.4 – 1.9, -.5, #15 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (Padres) 1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #19 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 4.4 – 4.6, +.2, tenth to fourth

Number One 6+: Local Media San Diego-programmed rhythmic hot AC XHRM, first month, 5.1 – 6.1, +1.0

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): rhythmic hot AC XHRM and rock KIOZ (+1.0)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease (Tie): classic rock KGB-FM and regional Mexican KLNV (-1.6)

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 3.5 – 3.7, +.2, #12 to #9

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 2.6 – 2.8, +.2, #16 to #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays) 2.4 – 2.6, +.2, continues at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 3.0 – 2.8, -.2, #15 to #14

Number One 6+: contemporary Christian WCIE, second month in a row, 6.6 – 7.8, +1.2

Noteworthy: Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV had held sole possession of #1 – or a share of the lead – in each of the past 109 survey periods.

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian WCIE (+1.2)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: CHR WPOI (-.7)

DENVER

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOA “News Radio 850” (Rockies) flat at 2.8, #11 to #13; KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 2.0 – 2.2, +.2, #19 to #20; and KHOW “Talk Radio 630” 1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #21 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 2.1 – 2.5, +.4, #18 to #15

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 4.8 – 4.5, -.3, fifth to fourth

Number One 6+: Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI, first month, 5.7 – 6.5, +.8

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): adult contemporary KOSI and Spanish adult hits KJMN (+.8)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease (Tie): classic rock KQMT and classic hits-oldies KXKL (-.7)

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” 4.0 – 3.9, -.1, repeats at #9

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 2.6 – 3.1, +.5, #14 to #13

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) 3.7 – 4.5, +.8, #11 to #7

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 4.2 – 3.9, -.3, eighth to ninth

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, eighth consecutive month, 8.6 – 8.1, -.5

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WLIF (+.9)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic rock WZBA (-1.5)

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” (Cardinals) 5.5 – 6.0, +5, eighth to seventh and co-owned KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” 3.1 – 4.5, +1.4, #14 to #10

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 3.1 – 3.5, +.4, #14 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 3.5 – 3.3, -.2, #13 to #15

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, eighth consecutive month, 12.8 – 11.1, -1.7

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: news/talk KFTK (+1.4)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: rock KSHE (-1.7)

 

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

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

| September 1, 2021

KIRO-AM, Seattle Launches Mike Salk Morning Show. Seattle sports talk outlet KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” announces the launch of “The Mike Salk Show” that takes over the morning drive daypart on September 7. The move ousts the “Danny & Gallant” show hosted by Danny O’Neill and Paul Gallant. Salk is the station’s former program director. His show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and the “Jake & Stacy” show hosted by Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost adds an hour, starting at 10:00 am and airing until 2:00 pm. Bonneville says, “‘The Mike Salk Show’ will regularly feature influential and notable voices, past and current, within the Seattle sports landscape such as Jerry Dipoto, Scott Servais, Pete Carroll, Matt Hasselbeck, Brock Huard, Shannon Drayer, Michael Bumpus, and many more.” KIRO-AM program director Kyle Brown comments, “We’re excited and fortunate to be able to add such a talented host back into our daily lineup. Mike is a passionate, opinionated broadcaster with long-standing connections to Seattle’s teams and fans. With daily appearances from Brock Huard and John Clayton and weekly interviews with Pete Carroll, Matt Hasselbeck and Jerry Dipoto, this show will be a can’t-miss destination for sports fans in the region.” Salk is also co-host of the “Brock & Salk” podcast with Brock Huard.  The “Brock & Salk Show” aired in various dayparts on “710 ESPN Seattle” from 2009-2019 and continues exclusively as a weekly podcast. For the new show, Salk will be joined by executive producer and on-air contributor Justin Barnes and producer Maura Dooley.

Michigan Sports Network Hosts Move to ‘The Game.’ A report at MLive.com says two of the Michigan Sports Network’s sports talk radio programs moved to a new flagship station – iHeartMedia’s WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids “The Game 96.1.” “The Huge Show” featuring Bill Simonson and “X’s & Bro’s” with Anthony Bellino moved to “The Game 96.1” from Cumulus Media’s sports talk WJRW-AM/W291DJ this week. Simonson says in a statement, “The move to 96.1 means that I get back to reaching a wider audience on the FM dial. It’s good for all the listeners in West Michigan, our marketing partners based in West Michigan, the local charitable organizations we support and the community. The show hasn’t changed since I came on the air September 23, 2001, and I’ll always offer my Huge opinions on local, state, national and world-wide topics.”

Orlando Franklin Leaves KKFN, Denver to Join 49ers Coaching Staff. Former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Orlando “Big O” Franklin is leaving Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” to take a coaching position with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Denver TV station KUSA reports Franklin told his audience that he’s leaving the late morning show he’s been co-hosting with Sandy Clough for the past two years. Franklin said, “My coaching internship with the 49ers was a tremendous experience, and I was honored that Coach Shanahan offered me the opportunity to continue with the team this season. While it’s bittersweet leaving my radio show here on ‘The Fan,’ the chance to continue learning from Coach Shanahan and working closely with my father-in-law Bobby Turner was one I just couldn’t pass up.”

G-Networks Responds to Wolkoff Suit; Requests Complaint Be Dismissed. In a 12-page response to Danno and Laura Wolkoff’s breach of contract suit against it, G-Networks LLC basically says it stands by its actions when it terminated the Wolkoffs from their positions and accused them of costing the business some $1.8 million in damages due to “gross negligence” and “gross incompetence” in the performance of their duties as chief development officer and VP of business operations, respectively. The Wolkoffs sold their company Envision Networks to then-Sun Broadcast Group and entered into employment agreements to serve in the positions noted above. The Wolkoffs say in their complaint that they are owed $2.1 million based on the deal to sell Envision and their employment contracts. G-Networks is asking that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice and that the Wolkoffs be ordered to pay all costs, expenses and attorney’s fees.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Todd Starnes delivered a speech at the recent Donald Trump rally in Alabama. The former president also appeared on Starnes’ radio program on Monday (8/30) and made news by announcing that “he’s heading to Iowa,” hinting that he’s already considering a run for president in 2024…..Audacy Buffalo announces multi-year radio broadcast contract extensions with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. As part of the partnership sports talk WGR-AM will continue as the flagship radio station for the Bills and Sabres, airing all pre-season, regular and post-season games for both teams. Audacy Buffalo SVP and market manager Tim Holly says, “We’re delighted to extend our partnerships with the Bills and Sabres to continue delivering premier gameday and supporting content. These partnerships will allow WGR 550 to continue to serve as the home for everything fans need to stay up to date surrounding these two iconic franchises and we look forward to entertaining and informing our listeners throughout both teams’ seasons.” WGR 550 will kick off its Bills gameday broadcasts with three pregame shows, “Breakfast with the Bills Fantasy Style,” “Bills Game Day,” “Countdown to Kickoff,” and wrap up with two postgame shows “Bills Network Postgame Show” and “The Overtime Show.” In addition to gameday content, the station will air “Buffalo Bills Football Monday” and “Football Friday,” which will feature team-focused content with special guests. Morning show “Howard and Jeremy” will welcome Bills play-by-play announcer John Murphy on Monday and Friday mornings and Bills head coach Sean McDermott each Friday morning. Afternoon show “Schopp & Bulldog” will speak with former Bills center Eric Wood every Monday and professional football writer John Clayton every Thursday. WGR 550 will also air pregame and postgame shows for its Sabres gameday broadcasts. “Howard and Jeremy” will welcome head coach Don Granato each Tuesday morning. “Schopp and Bulldog” will speak with Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams each month…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio program hosted by Chris Hill adds new affiliate New Hampshire Family Radio’s WKXL-AM/W280EC, Concord to its roster of stations…..Pictured below donating blood is GCN-syndicated talk radio host Dr. Daliah Wachs. Regular donating of blood – as well as the promotion of National Blood Donation Day (Sept. 4) and National Blood Donation Week (Sept. 1-7) – is something Dr. Wachs is passionate about and she encourages her fellow talk hosts to use their platforms to stress the importance of keeping our nation’s blood banks stocked.

Afghanistan Withdrawal, COVID-19, Ida Aftermath, California Wildfires, Texas Abortion Law, January 6 Investigation, and Jeopardy’s Mike Richards Fired Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31). The criticism of President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan; the rate of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., states dealing with full ICUs, and mask & vaccine mandates; the Caldor wildfire threatens the California resort town of Lake Tahoe; the Texas law outlawing abortion after six weeks goes into effect; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens telecom companies that comply with the January 6 committee’s request for phone records; and Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards is fired were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.