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Friday, March 12, 2021

| March 12, 2021

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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled “The New Abnormal” looks back at this past week of March 8-12, 2021.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Michael Berry, talk show host, KTRH, Houston / Michael Berry Network;  Grace Curley, talk show host, WRKO, Boston / Howie Carr Radio NetworkDom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia / “Readin’ Writin’ and Reason” podcast; Rob Carson, talk show host, Newsmax TV / “What in the World?”; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now 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.

Saga Communications Reports Q4 2020 Net Revenue Down 10%; Decline of 24.9% for Full Year. In reporting its financial data for the fourth quarter of 2020 and the full year, Saga Communications, Inc says fourth quarter and year-end 2020 revenue and the related net income continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Net revenue was $28.8 million for Q4 2020, a 19.1% increase over net revenue for the third quarter, but a decline of 10% compared to Q4 2019. For the full year of 2020, net revenue was $95.8 million, a decrease of 24.9% from the $123.1 million in net revenue it posted in 2019. Back to the fourth quarter of 2020, station operating expense decreased $1.9 million to $21.1 million compared to the same period last year.  Station operating income was $9.1 million for the quarter compared to $10.5 million for the fourth quarter last year and operating income was $5 million for the quarter compared to $5.4 million for the same period last year.  Saga posted a net loss of $1.9 million for the full year 2020 that included a non-cash impairment charge of $5.2 million. Without the impairment charge the company would have reported net income of $1.7 million for the period. Saga Communications’ balance sheet reflects $51.4 million in cash on hand as of December 31, 2020 and $56 million as of March 8, 2021. The company’s total bank debt remained at $10 million as of year-end 2020.

WEEI, Boston’s Dale Arnold to Leave Sports Talk Station. Boston sports media personality Dale Arnold – a staple at Entercom’s WEEI-FM since its inception as a sports talk outlet 30 years ago – will leave the station and his role as co-host of the “Dale and Keefe” midday program after today’s show. The Boston Globe has the story here. Although the soon-to-be-65-year-old Arnold on Thursday told listeners, “I’m going to retire from the radio business. I am not going to be coming back after tomorrow’s show,” he’ll continue his role as studio host for Boston Bruins hockey broadcasts on cable TV’s NESN. The Globe’s Chad Finn says it’s expected that Andy Gresh – who exited Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence in January of this year – will be partnered with Rich Keefe for middays going forward. Arnold told listeners his decision to leave WEEI – and not accept the offer to do part-time work there – was personal. “Some of you know this and some of you don’t. My wife had to retire from her employment in September, she’s had some medical issues. And you start thinking about things. You start thinking about, you know, ‘I’d like to spend some more time with her. I’d like to have one full-time job instead of two. I’d like to have summer months to go back to my home state of Maine and enjoy myself more.’”

Salem New York Debuts Evening ‘Bring Back NYC’ Show. Hosted by regular evening personality Kevin McCullough, Salem Media Group’s New York news/talker WNYM-AM “AM 970 The Answer” is launching a new nightly broadcast that “will be a deep dive into areas of life relevant to relaunching arguably the most important city on planet earth.” Salem New York says the program will feature specific expertise designed for this unique moment in the nation’s recovery. Monday nights will feature the expertise of “Millionaire Maker” Hilary Kramer in the markets and money. Tuesday nights the journey will be guided by veteran travel expert Valerie D’Elia. Wednesday nights focus on the medical expertise of Nicole Saphier MD, FOX News senior medical contributor and physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center. The law is the focus of Thursday nights with Arthur Aidala Esq. Friday nights will play host to PR pro Cristyne Nicholas, who serves as chair of the 109-year-old Broadway Association. McCullough says, “Given the mighty struggle our city and people have faced in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, political mismanagement, criminal riots, and the longest extended closures of business in the city, we asked ourselves the question of how we could best answer the needs of the city, and I’m here to let them know, ‘help is on the way!’ What greater good can we do with the airwaves than help turn on the lights, smiles, and lives again in the city that never sleeps?”

Edison Research ‘Infinite Dial 2021.’ It’s “the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America – tracking mobile behaviors, internet audio, podcasting, social media, smart speakers, and more.” Noting that, “‘more’ now includes radio,” consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the latest findings, and includes a download link to the report. Read it here.

Jonathan Hutton Ousted from Tennessee Titans Radio Team. Former WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone” radio personality Jonathan Hutton will not be part of the radio broadcast team for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans for the 2021 season. Hutton recently left “The Zone” to become part of Clay TravisOutkick digital platform on which he’ll co-host the “Outkick 360” program with fellow former “Zone” hosts Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky. On his website, Kuharsky quotes Cumulus Nashville VP and market manager Allison Warren, who says, “Jonathan Hutton has certainly been a big part of 104.5 The Zone’s Titans Radio broadcast over the years. However, regrettably Jonathan declined our offer to continue with 104.5 The Zone deciding to pursue other opportunities which has impacted his role on the Titans Radio broadcast.”

TALKERS News Notes. The anniversary of the official beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. is the impetus behind the CBS News Radio series that reflects on the past year. The series will be featured on CBS News top-of-the-hour and “World News Roundup” broadcasts airing Monday through Friday of next week (3/15-19)…..Entercom announces the launch of “BetQL Countdown to Tip-Off,” a six-episode series of special NCAA men’s college basketball tournament programming that launches tomorrow (3/13). Led by Nick Kostos, host of BetQL Audio Network podcast “You Better You Bet,” “BetQL Countdown to Tip-Off” will serve as breakdowns of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, featuring a mix of sports betting insight. The show will also welcome talent from across Entercom’s portfolio of sports stations, including Travis Thomas, WTEM, Washington; Mike Valenti, WXYT, Detroit; Danny Parkins, WSCR, Chicago; and Marc Malusis, WFAN, New York…..PodcastOne, a subsidiary of LiveXLive Media, announces the debut of “The Rock Podcast with Denny Somach.” Rock historian and radio producer Somach goes deep undercover on “The Rock Podcast” to shine new light on the soundtrack of the most exciting decades in music, bringing on guests to talk about their career experiences and using Somach’s own personal library of thousands of interviews to bring the lives of the most legendary rock stars who matter to the forefront. Upcoming guests include Nancy Wilson from Heart, Steve Lukather from Toto, Jon Anderson of Yes, and John Densmore of The Doors. PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Denny is a fantastic producer with a track record that goes back decades. His knowledge of music history and love of rock ‘n’ roll is second to none. I love his work and now millions will be able to access that work on PodcastOne,”…..New York City was hit early and hard by the pandemic, and during those first bewildering days and weeks, WNYC’s call-in news program “The Brian Lehrer Show” was a life raft for New Yorkers seeking information, answers, and companionship. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the shutdown that forever altered New York City, the program plans two special events: a broadcast on Tuesday (3/16) at 10:00 am called “Reading Their Names” in which, for 90 minutes, 484 listeners who will read the names of 1,780 people in the New York listening region who have died from the virus. The second is “WNYC’S 2020 Time Capsule” – broadcast on Thursday (3/18) that culminates the programs assemblage of its 2020 time capsule that is a repository of listener calls, news reports, and personal submissions by New Yorkers sharing what they have been through that’s saved on a hard drive to be safely stored alongside the transmitter atop the Empire State Building. The capsule will be opened in 2031.

iHeartMedia Names Nicky Sparrow SVP of Multi-Cultural Sales. Moving from her current position as market president for iHeartMedia Jacksonville to the new corporate position SVP of multicultural sales is Nicky Sparrow. In this role, Sparrow will be responsible for leading multicultural ad sales revenue for the Markets Group division. Sparrow will apply her deep knowledge of multicultural audiences and strong relationships with multicultural ad agencies and brands to build, drive, influence, and execute strategic multicultural initiatives across the iHeartMedia sales organization. She says, “I’m thrilled for this next step in my career. I’ve been with iHeartMedia for more than 20 years, and I can’t wait to take my experience and strong relationships with partners and advertisers to further deliver and create innovative and effective multicultural opportunities for our consumers that will not only grow our portfolio of assets, but represent and truly connect with our diverse audiences.”

Stimulus Package and the Economy Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill and the state of the U.S. economy combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of March 8-12, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and Joe Biden’s immigration policy. Coming in at #3 was the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., concerns about variants and the rollout of vaccines. 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.

 

 

Producer Wanted for Syndicated Morning Show. A nationally syndicated morning show is searching for an experienced producer to help generate content and show prep. The successful candidate will have 3-5 years’ experience producing a lifestyle-based show. The individual we’re looking for will have the ability to check their ego at the door and dig deep to provide show prep and occasionally deliver on-air content. Although we’re a national show with a significant nationwide and worldwide footprint, we’re a small operation and very much a family. The successful candidate will understand the high-pressure nature of the business but also understand how to operate with minimal direction with strong personalities. This is a full-time, remote position; relocation is not required. Salary is commensurate with experience. Finalists will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Learn more about this position here and send materials to: Dtc_exec@yahoo.com.

Morning Drive News Anchor-Host at Top 25 Market East Coast Station. Looking for a news air talent who can write and read news for a local, current events issue-driven morning show. Prefer an air talent who is comfortable expressing an opinion on the hot topics of the day. Interested? Submit a demo mp3 and resume ASAP. Apply confidentially to talkradiogig@gmail.com. The radio station is an EOE and females are encouraged to apply.

The Infinite Dial 2021

| March 12, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Applause to Edison Research for their “Infinite Dial” series, “the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America…tracking mobile behaviors, internet audio, podcasting, social media, smart speakers, and more.” “More” includes radio.

Here’s the whole thing: http://www.edisonresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/The-Infinite-Dial-2021.pdf

As previous reports have, this national telephone survey of 1,507 Persons 12+ is a useful snapshot of what’s changing, and what isn’t-much.

Read More

Friday, August 7, 2020

| August 7, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, 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 magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM in Washington, DC.  This new episode titled “Each Passing Tik of the Clok!” looks back at this past week of August 3-7, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSMike Gallagher, talk show host, Salem Radio NetworkPat McCrory, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte / former Governor of North Carolina; Howard Monroe, talk show host / station owner, WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Levi Browde, executive director, Falun Dafa Information Center; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now 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.

Salem Media Group Q2 Revenue Down 18.3%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2020, Salem Media Group says revenue for the quarter was $52.9 million, a decrease of 18.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Operating expenses decreased 9% during the quarter to $53.8 million from $59.1 million. After posting operating income of $5.6 million in Q2 of 2019, Salem reports an operating loss of $0.9 million. Breaking down the report by segment, net broadcast revenue decreased 19.6% to $39.5 million from $49.1 million; Station Operating Income (“SOI”) decreased 43.9% to $6.4 million from $11.4 million; and Same Station net broadcast revenue decreased 17.4% to $38.7 million from $46.9 million; and Same Station SOI decreased 43.9% to $6.5 million from $11.6 million. Salem’s digital media revenue decreased 5.2% to $9.4 million from $10.0 million; and digital media operating income decreased 22.6% to $1.8 million from $2.3 million. Publishing revenue was down 29.8% to $4 million from $5.6 million; and publishing operating loss increased to $1.6 million from $0.1 million.

Entercom’s Q2 2020 Revenue Decreases 54%. The second quarter 2020 financial report from Entercom reveals net revenue was $175.9 million, a decrease of 54% from the $380.7 million reported in Q2 of 2019. Spot revenue declined 65% on a year-over-year basis while digital revenue rose 19%. Entercom reports that reflecting its cost management initiatives implemented to address the pandemic and lower levels of advertising spending, station expenses for the quarter declined 32% to $188.9 million, compared to $277.9 million in the second quarter of 2019 while corporate expenses for the quarter declined 45% to $8.4 million, compared to $15.2 million in the second quarter of 2019. The company reported operating income of $64.8 million in Q2 of 2019, but this year reported an operating loss of $45.3 million (that included a non-cash impairment charge of $4.2 million). Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was a loss of $20 million, compared to income of $87.6 million in the second quarter of 2019. Entercom president and CEO David J. Field says, “While Entercom generated significant revenue and EBITDA growth prior to the pandemic, second quarter results reflect the impact of the national economic challenges that quickly emerged as many advertisers closed businesses and significantly reduced their ad spend. Given our national leadership position in sports, second quarter top-line results were also significantly impacted by the cancellation of virtually all scheduled sporting events during the quarter. Excluding the impact of cancelled sports play-by-play, second quarter revenues declined 47%. However, after bottoming out in April, we have achieved significant sequential improvement every month through the summer with third quarter business on books already 30% greater than where the second quarter finished. The pandemic challenges accelerated our on-going transformation initiatives with a heightened focus on enhancing our business model, accelerating our growth opportunities, more fully integrating our powerful product offerings, and improving our service to both listeners and customers. In this regard, we implemented a range of company-wide initiatives, which lowered second quarter total cash operating expense by approximately $97 million, which exceeded our budget. In addition, we secured our strong liquidity position through an amendment to our credit facility and ended the second quarter with $208 million of cash, up from $189 million at the end of March. Looking ahead, as the country’s #1 creator of original, premium audio content with robust data, analytics and attribution capabilities, scaled audience reach and a leadership position in virtually every segment of the dynamic and growing audio market, including broadcasting, podcasting, digital, events, network, sports and news, Entercom is strategically well-positioned for future growth and performance. Improving revenue trends combined with enhancements to our business model and active management of our balance sheet will enable Entercom to emerge as an even stronger company and build meaningful shareholder value. I want to thank our team for their resilience, dedication, and exceptional work as they have gone above and beyond to serve our listeners, advertisers and communities under the most challenging of circumstances over the past several months.”

Round Four of July PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2020 survey period covered June 18 – July 15. You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Austin, Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM tacks on two-tenths for a 5.7 share and the #3 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM, Raleigh rises from the #6 rank to #3 after adding six-tenths and finishing the survey with a 6.8 share. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis inches up one-tenth to a 7.5 share, good for the #4 rank. In Milwaukee, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ holds steady at a 5.5 share but rises one spot to the #5 rank while iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN dips four-tenths to a 6.8 share and the #4 rank. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds two-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.8 share good for the #9 rank. In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM continues in the #2 rank after dipping four-tenths and finishing with a 9.5 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

NAB’s Gordon Smith Averted Stroke. The report of NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s stroke yesterday (8/6) was premature, according to Smith himself. He issued a public statement that clarifies the original press release from the NAB and thanks people for the outpouring of support he’s received. He says, “Your prayers and kind words have meant the world to me and my family. I am delighted to tell you that after a very extensive MRI last night it was discovered that I did have a blood clot, but thanks to the quick medical intervention I received, an actual stroke was averted.”

Cumulus Media Announces New Employment Agreement with Exec Suzanne Grimes. A new employment agreement between Cumulus Media and Suzanne Grimes has been filed with the SEC. Grimes will continue to serve as executive vice president of corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One. The pact runs through December 2022 and includes provisions for automatic one-year extensions. Grimes’ base salary is $650,000 and she’s eligible for performance-based bonuses.

Shaffer Adds APD Duties at ‘104.5 The Zone’ in Nashville. WGFX-FM, Nashville
“104.5 The Zone” morning show producer Jonathan Shaffer adds assistant program director duties to his responsibilities. Cumulus Media says the 14-year Nashville radio pro will continue in his role as morning show producer for the sports talk station. Station PD Paul Mason says, “Jonathan has demonstrated that he is ready for this challenge. He’s earned this opportunity and I look forward to working with him as we move forward toward reaching our goals at ‘104.5 The Zone.’” Shaffer comments, “I am proud and honored to be part of such a talented, committed team at ‘104.5 The Zone’. I am very excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to contributing to The Zone’s continued success.”

iHeartMedia Names Tias Schuster SVP of Programming for West New York. Programming pro Tias Schuster moves from iHeartMedia’s Norfolk, Virginia operations where he was SVP of programming and PD for two of its music brands, to West New York to serve as SVP of programming for Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton. In this new role, Schuster will oversee more than 19 stations in the Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton markets. He’ll report to iHeartMedia West New York president Robert Morgan. Schuster says, “It is great to be back with my iHeartRadio family in Upstate New York. I’m honored to work alongside the legendary personalities and management in these markets! I want to give a special thanks to iHeartMedia for the opportunity.”

WIP, Philadelphia’s Howard Eskin ‘Walks to Tampa’ for Charity. Philadelphia sports media figure Howard Eskin is almost three-quarters of the way to Tampa (figuratively speaking) as he continues his PDQ Signature Systems-sponsored, two-month charitable effort. “Howard Walks to Tampa” has the “SportsRadio 94WIP” air personality walking the virtual 1,103-mile distance between the Philadelphia Eagles’ home base of Lincoln Financial Field and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the location of Super Bowl LV, to raise money for fighting local hunger and animal welfare. Money raised from Eskin’s daily walks, which will run through September 13 prior to the start of the Eagles 2020 season, will benefit Philabundance, Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, and the Brandywine Valley SPCA, a nationally recognized leader in progressive and lifesaving initiatives in animal welfare. Eskin says, “It’s been a tough time in our country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without any games or practices to attend, I needed an escape. So, I started walking. It’s been great for my physical and mental health and raising money for two great charities like Philabundance and Brandywine Valley SPCA makes it even better.” To date, Eskin has walked 736 miles with only 367 miles to go before September 13 and has raised more than $10,000 for Philabundance and Brandywine Valley SPCA.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a documentary about the rise and fall of former WFAN, New York sports talk personality Craig Carton set to be released on October 7 from HBO Sports and StreetSmartVideo titled, “Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth.” According to a story in the Rockland/Westchester Journal, the film will include Carton talking about his story in his own words. Carton was released early from his three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for fraud in June and is finishing his sentence in home confinement. HBO Sports VP Peter Nelson says, “Craig Carton’s radio persona gained him a public following, while his private struggles lost him everything one casino run at a time. Many knew Carton, but never knew his secrets, as we learn from Carton himself in this documentary about success, self-destruction, lies and blackjack.”…..According to a report in Dmagazine, a documentary film about the life and career of Dallas sports talk radio legend Mike Rhyner is being produced. Dallas media pro Crystal Vasquez – who met the now-retired KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas personality while filling in as a traffic reporter on Rhyner’s “The Hardline” program – is heading up the documentary project. Vasquez tells Dmagazine, “It’s not a documentary on ‘The Ticket.’ That’s his identity to a certain extent, but it’s a story about Mike’s life.”…..The “Bubba the Love Sponge” program adds a new affiliate station in 1TV.Com Inc.’s classic rock KBSZ-AM/K247CF, Apache Junction, Arizona “97.3 The Rattler.”…..Entercom’s all-news 1010 WINS, New York is inviting listeners to a wedding on Sunday! The station reports, “Ashley Isaacs, who works at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and her fiancé Israel Reches (both pictured at left) will reunite for the first time in months at their own wedding after spending time apart due to the pandemic and Reches’ health. As Isaacs was working to save patients with COVID-19 this past spring, Reches was battling stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, forcing the couple to separate. With Reches in remission just in time for the big day, the two are set to marry on Sunday, August 9 in a small backyard ceremony, and 1010 WINS listeners are ‘invited’ to the festivities. The station will be onsite the day of the wedding, airing audio of the ceremony on air and streaming it in its entirety via Facebook Live.”

WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit Starts ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ Initiative. Detroit all-news WWJ “News Radio 950” unveils its two-part community programming initiative called “Breaking Down the Barriers” dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the city and its surrounding suburbs. The initiative includes two segments, “Voices of the Community” and “Black Business Minute,” both beginning August 10. “Voices of the Community” is hosted by WWJ traffic operations manager Lloyd Jackson and will profile community leaders, activists, and residents who are making a difference in their neighborhoods and throughout Detroit. “Black Business Minute” is hosted by WWJ city beat reporter Vickie Thomas and highlights local businesses in which Black business owners will discuss their companies, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are contributing to the success of Detroit. It will air five times daily each weekday. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “The diverse citizens of Detroit are an integral part of the fabric of this great city and we’re proud to use our platform to champion their stories. There are countless cases of business owners and leaders helping residents get through this crisis, and we look forward to employing this series as another way to shine the spotlight on them.”

95.5 WSB ‘Care-a-Thon’ Raises $1.5 Million for Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. This year’s 95.5 WSB Care-a-Thon two-day radio event was the 20th annual produced by the Cox Media Group news/talk station and helped raise more than $1.5 million for research and programs at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This year, due to COVID-19, Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Eric Von Haessler, Mark Arum, Erick Erickson, Brian Kilmeade and many other local radio personalities participated in the 95.5 WSB Care-a-Thon by interviewing patients and their families virtually via video and phone calls. The team encouraged listeners to donate and purchase one-of-a-kind experiences throughout the special radio broadcast. WSB director of branding and programming Drew Anderssen says, “Our entire team is so thankful for the phenomenal support we have received from our loyal listeners who continue to give to the Care-a-Thon, and all of our community service efforts at 95.5 WSB, year after year. This year’s fundraiser is one we’ll never forget because of the incredible financial strain coronavirus presented to our community of donors. I’m tremendously proud of the teams at 95.5 WSB and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for their work adapting this year’s effort to become ‘virtual’ as a result of the pandemic.”

The Presidential Race, Politics and the Vote-By-Mail Debate Top News/Talk Stories for Week of August 3-7. The November presidential election, politics, and the controversy over President Trump’s allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Tied at #2 this week was the interview with President Trump by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan and Deutsch Bank being subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General in a Trump Organization investigation. Coming in at #3 was the debate over opening schools, followed by health care, medications and the mask debate at #4. 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 entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Beasley Media Group announces the cancellation of WKML-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina’s 2020 Stars & Guitars concert. Beasley VP/GM Kent Dunn says, “Thank you to our amazing sponsor and fans throughout the years for supporting Stars & Guitars event. These are unprecedented times. The safety of our community, staff, and country artists is our number one priority. As a result, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s event. We’ll be back bigger and better than ever in 2021!” To help fill in the gap, WKML-FM has hosted a series of special Stars & Guitars at Home social media concert experiences with some of the top artists in country music on the station’s website as well as entertained listeners with the station’s special Superstar Mini Concert series.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

| August 24, 2017

DGital Media Changes Name to Cadence13; New Executives Named. Just a couple of weeks after the announcement that Entercom is investing in a strategic partnership with on-demand digital platform DGital Media, comes news that DGital is changing its name to Cadence13.  The company also announces new programming and sales leadership team members.  Joining Cadence13 are: Bill Schultz as EVP of content development; Serena Kodila-Regan as SVP of programming; Rich Boerner as SVP of programming and operations; Chris Colbert as VP of programming; Richard Cooke as VP of programming; and Dave Easton as VP of audience and business development.  Cadence13 says these execs are leading the development of premium-quality audio content and audio documentaries – a new category for the company – at the company’s flagship studios in New York City, at the new studios in Los Angeles, and through access to studios across the country.  Also joining the company is Nick Freeman as EVP of brand partnerships.  He’ll be responsible for building and leading the brand integration and sponsorship team that will work alongside and with the company’s sales team to generate additional revenue streams for the company and its partners.  Cadence13 CEO Spencer Brown says, “Our new brand identity, Cadence13, reflects our focus on the unique character of our company and our commitment to ensuring that we take a creative approach to making each show successful.”

ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo Arrested in Wyoming.  The charge against ESPN Radio personality Ryen Russillo is misdemeanor criminal entry.  According to Sports Illustrated’s coverage, Russillo – who is away from his radio show and apparently on vacation – was reported to police by the owners of a condominium in Jackson, Wyoming when they found him lying on a bed in the middle of the night, naked with his pants around his ankles.  The report alleges Russillo was intoxicated and refused to leave the condo.  SI reports that ESPN said it is looking into the allegations.  Here’s the SI story.

New Scripps CEO Announces Executive Changes. President and CEO Adam Symson, who assumed those roles at E.W. Scripps two weeks ago, announces new titles and positions for a number of company executives.  Brian Lawlor rises from SVP, broadcast to president, local media.  Laura Tomlin – previously VP, digital operations – is now SVP, national media.  SVP, chief administrative officer Lisa Knutson is now EVP, chief strategy officer.  And SVP, chief financial officer Tim Wesolowski and SVP, general counsel William Appleton both become executive vice presidents.  Steve Wexler – who’d been with Journal Broadcast Group and stayed on as the radio stations transitioned to E.W. Scripps – remains in his post at VP, radio.

TALKERS News Notes. WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” announces new 76ers-related content.  The CBS RADIO sports talk station says, “The voices, writers, and outlets that got people through the last four years of ‘The Process’ will take fans through this year’s season with the addition of Derek Bodner as an on-air contributor, a new content partnership with Liberty Ballers, and the new show ‘Rights to Ricky Sanchez Radio’ featuring the hosts of the popular podcast.”  Station program director Spike Eskin says, “With the Sixers ready to take the next step on the court, we’re proud that WIP is taking the next step in covering the team.  With Jon Marks, Derek Bodner of The Athletic, Liberty Ballers, and ‘Rights To Ricky Sanchez Radio’ as a complement to our air staff, we’re offering Philly fans a new and exciting outlet to engage around one of their favorite teams.”…..This afternoon, KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710AM” is broadcasting the #MarKeyRace 40-yard dash official weigh-in from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm during “Afternoons with Marcellus & Kelvin,” hosted by Marcellus Wiley, Kelvin Washington and special guest co-host Michelle Beadle.  The broadcast in advance of the #MarKey 40-yard dash taking place at the Los Angeles Coliseum at L.A. Rams Fest on Saturday happens at Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, California.  Saturday’s race pits Marcellus Wiley against KSPN morning personality Keyshawn Johnson in the 40-yard dash…..All this week, CBS Sports Radio hosts Bill Reiter and Scott Ferrall are broadcasting live from radio row in Las Vegas prior to the fight between professional boxing world champ Floyd Mayweather and current UFC Lightweight Champion, Conor McGregor.  “Reiter Than You” airs from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET and “Ferrall on the Bench” follows from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am…..Sports talk personality Dan Reaves is exiting The Wireless Group’s sports talk WNWS Jackson, Tennessee to join Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM/W240CA, Nashville.  The Jackson Sun reports that Reaves exits WNWS after 16 years with the station…..AdLarge Media adds “hey, girl.” to its podcast platform cabana. “hey, girl.” was created by author Alex Elle and each 30-minute episode involves Elle sitting down with “inspiring women, from friends to family members and fascinating people in general, who share their journeys of struggle and self-discovery.” …..Gen Media Partners hires sales marketing pro Lauren Boyle to lead the Dallas office as vice president and director of sales.  At the same time, Lauren Welch is promoted to account executive.  Gen Media CEO Kevin Garrity says, “Transactional avails no longer move our business.  A top marketer like Lauren Boyle knows how to integrate radio’s local attributes with the needs of national advertisers to drive revenue for our client stations.  I am delighted to welcome her to our team.  Lauren Welch has built relationships with some of our agency partners in the Dallas market.  She has proven herself to be an asset and possesses all the necessary skills to be successful in an account executive role.  I am pleased to reward her talent.”

Trump-McConnell Hostilities, Trump’s Mexican Wall Threat, Trump’s Phoenix Rally, U.S.-North Korea Tensions/Russian Air Force Activity, Powerball Jackpot, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/23).  The hostilities between President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump’s relationship with the GOP; President Trump’s threat to shut down the government if his Mexican wall project isn’t funded; the aftermath of Trump’s Tuesday evening Phoenix rally; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and the related Russian air force activity in the region; the second-largest Powerball jackpot is won in Massachusetts; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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. Florida radio personality Jesse Kage is moving north to join Cumulus Media’s Atlanta rock station WNNX “Rock 100.5” as afternoon drive jock and assistant program director.  Kage was most recently afternoon jock on Beasley’s former rock outlet WBRN, Tampa, but he spent more time in the afternoon shift at iHeartMedia’s crosstown WXTB, Tampa “98 Rock.” WNNX program director Greg Ausham says, “This is a huge step for WNNX.  We searched for the right replacement for the ‘Rock 100.5’ afternoon show and Jesse showed us the personality and enthusiasm that we needed to keep our momentum going.”…..Alternative KYSR, Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” is added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s alternative KTEG, Albuquerque “104.1 The Edge.”  Premiere Networks launched the program, featuring Woody, Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas – into national syndication in 2016.  Current morning host Baxter transitions to the afternoon drive daypart…..Cumulus Media’s CHR WPRO-FM, Providence “92 PRO-FM” is reporting that it leads the local market’s social media performance in “fans” and “actions per post,” and is a “top performer among radio stations nationwide.”  This is according to new data from the social content analytics firm Shareablee.  The data indicates that WPRO-FM leads the market in the critical “actions per post” statistic, indicative of the popularity of each individual social post. The station’s 503 “actions per post” eclipsed the entire market, garnering more “actions per post” than the rest of the top 10 media outlets combined.  Social media moderator and WPRO-FM morning show producer Jay Buff comments, “The fluid social media strategy of ‘92 PRO-FM’ is both proactive and reactive.  Demographics, trends, and algorithms all change, but our commitment to quality and timely content is unwavering.  Our curated material gives fans a feeling of community and trust in our brand.”…..SiriusXM is adding the new “Dark Horse Radio” weekly program dedicated to the music of George Harrison to its Beatles Channel.  The weekly program, hosted by Nashville recording artist Laura Cantrell, provides insight into Harrison’s musical influences, tastes and the impact he had on other artists.

PPM Analysis: Classic Rock.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of his four-part series looking at the performances of stations based on data from the July 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  Today, Kinosian reports on the classic rock format.  According to recent reports by Nielsen, the “classic” formats – classic rock and classic hits – have generally enjoyed a ratings bounce in the summer months.  Kinosian finds that, comparing the 6+ numbers from June to July, “just about half the stations (48%) on our classic rock sample are up between June 2017 – July 2017 (6+) while 39% are down; the remaining 13% of the panel is flat (6+).”  Things look better comparing year-over-year shares: “Roughly six of every10 stations on this classic rock panel are up year-to-year (58%), while 38% are down; 4% are flat.”  A robust 26 classic rock stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in July, with four ranking #1: Beasley Media Group’s WCSX, Detroit; Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSLX, Phoenix; Entercom’s KSEG, Sacramento; and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City.  Read the whole report here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

| November 16, 2016

cookehollandCooke: Listeners Expect to Be Heard.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents another in his series of TALKERS TV videos – this one titled, “Listeners Expect to Be Heard.”  Cooke states, “Donald Trump conveyed ‘I hear you’ to voters who already expected to be heard, by virtue of social media.  Yet the talk format – radio’s most interactive – often offers monologue to listeners now accustomed to dialogue.”  Cooke says he has advice for programmers and talk hosts interested in being positioned at the center of conversation “that extends Time Spent Listening, and makes you sound popular to advertisers.”  View the video in the Talkers TV box in the upper right side of this page.

crabtreebryanCrabtree: Radio’s Social and Digital Dilemma.  Atlanta-based talk show host and writer Bryan Crabtree advocates for an aggressive use of social and digital media for radio talk hosts in a piece published today in TALKERS magazine.  Crabtree hosts a daily show heard on “biz1190” and “AM920 The Answer” in Atlanta and he says, “Talk radio is no longer just a three-hour, on-air production.  Our shows must continue ‘24/7’ via Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube and other digital platforms.  For me, it created pure anxiety in knowing that all of these platforms were available for free because the manpower required to utilize them was daunting.  I knew there had to be some way to expedite and automate this process.”  Read more about how Crabtree is using social and digital media here.

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TALKERS’ Harrison on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360.’  TALKERS magazine publisher and editor Michael Harrison is pictured above on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” last night discussing the potential for Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham to be named Press Secretary in the Trump Administration.  Harrison said talk hosts are perfect for press secretary roles because they are able to articulate sometimes complex political issues to the press and public so well.  He also noted that if President-Elect Donald Trump gets Ingraham for the Press Secretary post, he’s showing his skills in the “art of the deal” since she’s probably earning far more now than the Press Secretary position pays!

Odds & Sods.  Memphis native Jeffrey Wright returns home to join the programming department at Entercom’s sports talk WFMS-FM “92.9FM ESPN.”  Having most recently served the Yahoo/Rivals network covering Old Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, Wright’s duties at WFMS will include serving as executive producer of the Geoff Calkins show from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, as a contributor to the 929 Line at 929espn.com, as well as handling talk host duties at the station.  Wright takes over the Calkins show producing duties from John Martin who is now partnered up with Jason Smith on the midday “Jason & John Show.”….. The National Association of Media Brokers is jumping into the fray over the FCC’s recent refusal to update its media cross-ownership rules.  NAMB – a group of professionals representing buyers and sellers of radio and television stations and related businesses – is responding to the recent news that the National Association of Broadcasters and the News Media Alliance (formerly the Newspaper Association of America), each has filed suit against the FCC regarding its quadrennial media ownership rules review which maintained the prohibition against the common ownership of broadcast media and daily newspapers in the same market.   NAMB vice president Eddie Esserman comments, “To agree with the FCC’s decision about cross-ownership, you would have to believe there is not enough media in the marketplace.  I don’t know anyone who believes that.”…..The “Intelligent Medicine” with Dr. Ronald Hoffman podcast hits the 3 million download mark, according to Media Management Group EVP/business development Alan Eisenson.  He says, “We are very proud of this major accomplishment and the rate at which Dr. Hoffman’s podcast and other digital assets have grown.”

Trump Victory Aftermath/Transition, U.S.-Russia Relations, Battle Against Islamic State, the State of ObamaCare, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15).  The aftermath of the Donald Trump victory over Hillary Clinton and the transition of the Trump Administration; speculation about the potential relations between Vladimir Putin and the U.S. after Trump’s inauguration; the fight to take Mosul from Islamic State; the future of the Affordable Care Act under the Trump Administration; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dunkle and Nadel Upped at TTWN.  Two promotions are taking place at Total Traffic & Weather Network.  VP of affiliate sales Jack Dunkle rises to SVP of affiliate sales, in which he’ll report to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott.   In this newly expanded role, he’ll manage TTWN’s radio, television and digital product sales and distribution.  At the same time, vice president of affiliate sales and compliance Roger Nadel is promoted to SVP of affiliate operations.  He’ll also report to Julie Talbott.

Rare Talk Show Opportunity in Milwaukee.  WTMJ, Milwaukee is building a dynamic midday talk show.  E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ Radio is looking for an engaging LOCAL host or team to connect Milwaukee and Wisconsin Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)with the issues, news and stories of the day.  The host or team must LIVE the multi-platform audio experience and lead its 12:00 to 3:00 pm daily show with timely, relevant and entertaining talk.  The opportunity is now.  The show will begin in January as Charlie Sykes retires, with longtime WTMJ host Jeff Wagner moving into Sykes’ time slot.  WTMJ is not limiting this opportunity to political-only shows, but to the next generation of talkers who can inform and entertain on whatever the big story happens to be that day.  E.W. Scripps Radio is “Famous for Localism.”  Apply at Scripps.com under the “Careers” tab and send materials along with your ratings track record to Eric Brooks, director of programming & news at: Eric.Brooks@WTMJ.com.  EEO.

wbtwlnk-duo-logoCool Sales Opportunity.  Entercom is seeking a director of sales for news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK-FM in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The right candidate must possess a strong desire to win, must lead by example, and have a track record of revenue success.  The director of sales must have a strong background in running successful stations.  Candidate must be an exceptional sales trainer, be a creative thinker, and be able to recruit and hire the best in the business.  Primary responsibilities: Oversee all aspects of the sales operation; Implementation and compliance with CRM tools; Set rates through yield management tools; Meet or exceed all revenue goals; Work as a coach, leader and problem solver;  and understand the digital space and present a specific plan for its growth.  Please submit your cover letter and resume to hired@wbt.com or hired@1079thelink.com or mail to: Human Resources, WBT/WLNK, Entercom Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208. EOE.

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The Yappy Tour Rolls On.  The coast-to-coast book tour of Bernadette Duncan rolled back into New England this past week as the author of Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016) stopped by Saga Communications’ WHMP-AM/FM, Northampton, Massachusetts (the station that launched the radio career of Rachel Maddow) where she appeared on the live-and-local, mid-morning show of noted civil rights and criminal defense attorney Bill Newman.  The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  Duncan (r) is pictured with host Bill Newman (l). Her national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year.  She has already appeared on more than 30 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.