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Thursday, July 21, 2022

| July 21, 2022

Tim Van Horn of KWAM, Memphis is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes him as “one of the most likeable radio talk show hosts in America.” Tim Van Horn, host of “Wake-Up Memphis” – heard mornings on heritage station KWAM, Memphis – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Van Horn is familiar to radio and TV audiences in Memphis. For over a quarter century, he’s been a longtime meteorologist at NBC affiliate WMC-TV, a play-by-play commentator of Memphis 901 soccer games on ESPN+ and a radio personality on iHeart’s WREC-AM before joining the Todd Starnes-owned independent news/talker in 2020. Van Horn is a prime example of a local personality and family man whose roots run deep within a community and is considered an upstanding friend and a neighbor to the local population. Harrison and Van Horn take a deep-dive into the world of local radio and the elements that keep in ticking as an iconic medium of American culture. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Mike Hulvey Succeeds Beth Neuhoff as CEO of Neuhoff Communications. The leadership of Neuhoff Communications officially changes as longtime company COO Mike Hulvey is promoted to CEO and Beth Neuhoff steps down. Neuhoff – who assumed leadership of the company after the death of her husband Geoff 10 years ago – says, “Mike has a bold vision for where this company is going. He is an excellent team builder and knows what it takes to make Neuhoff the most important and community-focused local media operation in every market we serve. With his deep understanding of our operations and ability to lead both at our company and industry level, I can’t think of a better person to take the reins of this very special company.” In a letter to employees, Beth Neuhoff says the change is the result of “a thoughtful process dating back a few years. In fact, it likely would have happened sooner, but with the global pandemic and devastating impact it had on our company and industry, plans were delayed. While there is still work to do and business isn’t 100% back to normal, our recovery is well underway. Now is the right time to make the move. Mike has earned it.” Hulvey comments, “It is my distinct honor to assume the reins at Neuhoff Communications. We’ve worked hard to build this award-winning organization. I’m ready to build upon our firmly held values of community, innovation, grit, and excellence as this business evolves and grows into the future.” At the same time, the company announces a governance transition. Beth Neuhoff will be transitioning her role as corporate trustee of the company to Julian Hickman and Makena Neuhoff, grandchildren of the late broadcaster, Roger Neuhoff, over the next few months.  Beth Neuhoff says, “It is exciting to see the next generation of Neuhoff’s take an active role in the company’s future. Their enthusiasm and breadth of experiences in business will be of tremendous benefit.”

Triton Digital Releases Top Podcast Report for June. The June 2022 Top Podcast Report from Triton Digital has been published. The report of the 100 top podcasts is based on weekly average downloads and in June, Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” jumped up to the #1 spot, edging NPR’s “NPR News Now” out of the lead and into the #2 spot. Steady in the #3 position is audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie.” Other radio-related podcasts of note on the chart include Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Dan Bongino Show” at #8, Salem Podcast Network’s “The Charlie Kirk Show” at #14, and Cumulus Podcast Network’s “The Matt Walsh Show” and “The Mark Levin Show” at #18 and #21 respectively. See the complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. On Monday (7/25), KCMO-AM, Kansas City morning drive host Pete Mundo will host a special “Politics and a Pint” discussion with Missouri U.S. Senate Candidate Eric Greitens at the Jewel KC Event Space in Downtown Kansas City. This live event is KCMO Talk Radio’s fourth “Politics and a Pint” event featuring U.S. Senate Candidates and will feature Mundo having a candid conversation with Greitens, then opening the floor for a few questions from the audience…..Disruptor Radio, LLC is adding New York Yankees baseball to the programming schedule on WJFP-AM, Chester, Pennsylvania “Liberty Radio,” effective tonight. Disruptor president and CEO John Fredericks says, “We are thrilled to partner with the highest profile brand in baseball, the New York Yankees. We are very proud to be an official radio affiliate of the New York Yankees offering baseball fans in the greater Philadelphia area an opportunity to catch every pitch of every Yankees game.”…..Las Vegas-based, USA Radio Network syndicated talk host Wayne Allyn Root is launching a weekly TV show on the Real America’s Voice television network in which he’ll be talking about the “biggest stories of the week that every conservative, Christian, American patriot and Trump warrior needs to know.”…..Salem Radio Network’s SRN News is presenting a week-long special series on “The Future of NRB.” Beginning Monday (7/25), SRN News will explore the immediate and long-term outlook for the National Religious Broadcasters association. Featured prominently in the week’s reporting will be content from an extensive interview with the NRB’s new president and CEO Troy Miller.

January 6 Hearings, Midterms/2024 Election, The Economy, Heatwave/Global Warming, Abortion/LGBTQ Rights, Russia-Ukraine War, and COVID-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20). The ongoing January 6 hearings; November’s midterm elections, Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP, and speculation about the nominees in 2024; high gas & food prices, financial market activity, and fears of a recession; the record-breaking heat in Europe and the heatwave hitting much of the U.S. plus talk about global warming; the Roe v Wade protests and the House bill that would secure gay marriage rights; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the fast-spreading BA.5 subvariant pushing COVID-19 numbers up were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

| June 18, 2020

KKOB-AM/FM, Albuquerque Names John Summers News Director. Radio news and programming pro John Summers is named news director for Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk KKOB-AM/FM, Albuquerque. Cumulus says Summers is an award-winning journalist who was most recently brand manager and news director for Saga Communications’ WHCU-AM/FM, Ithaca, New York. Prior to that, he was regional program director and news director for the Northwest News Radio Network and the Washington Ag Network. Cumulus Albuquerque operations manager Jared Hart says, “We are thrilled to welcome John to the News Radio KKOB family. He’s a great fit to lead this iconic Albuquerque station into an exciting new chapter and to help capitalize on our recent expansion of the KKOB brand.” Summers says, “I’m thrilled to become part of the awesome Southwest legend, KKOB. I really appreciate Jeff Berry and Jared Hart’s confidence in my journalistic vision for the giant AM/FM signals involved – and I love New Mexico. This is going to be fun.”

Disruptor Radio LLC Acquires WNTW-AM, Richmond. Virginia media company Disruptor Radio, LLC announces it has closed on the purchase of WNTW-AM and translator W224EB – both licensed to Chester, Virginia in the Richmond market. Disruptor Radio is operated by John Fredericks, whose radio show airs in morning drive on the simulcast and is based at Disruptor’s WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia. It’s distributed by the John Fredericks Radio Network. Fredericks says the combination of the three signals “gives JFRN the largest footprint and most coverage in central Virginia.” John Fredericks says, “As of June 17, we have the most dynamic and engaging news/talk network lineup in America right here in central Virginia. Our combined three-stick radio reach now goes to Petersburg in the south, Fredericksburg to the north, west to Charlottesville, southwest to Longwood University in Farmville and east to Newport News and the Northern Neck. We now have a bigger footprint then-rival legacy station WRVA in Richmond and we look forward to the opportunity to offer central Virginia radio listeners an exciting alternative in the news/talk arena.” Fredericks adds he’s not shy about further expansion potential and he’s bullish on the future of talk radio.

Firings at U.S. Agency for Global Media Draw Rebuke from Democrats. The U.S. Senate confirmation of conservative filmmaker Michael Pack and his subsequent firing of four news organization chiefs has drawn the ire of congressional Democrats. According to Edward Wong’s story in The New York Times, those let go on Wednesday evening were: Bay Fang of Radio Free Asia, Jamie Fly of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Alberto M. Fernandez of Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Emilio Vazquez of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and Libby Liu of the Open Technology Fund. The story adds that Pack also “disbanded the bipartisan boards that govern and advise those five organizations. He replaced the members, which are the same across the organizations, largely with Trump administration political appointees, including himself as chairman.” On Monday of this week, Radio Free America director Amanda Bennett and deputy director Sandra Sugawara resigned their positions.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the sports talk format. Obviously, without any sports contests being played since March, the format has suffered, but the downward trend the format experienced in March and April is leveling off. Sixty-two percent of sports talk stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up, led by Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver (+1.0, 3.1share). Comparing May 2019 to May 2020, just 32% of stations are up with 65% down. The year-over-year gainers are led by iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis (+1.8, 5.9 share). No sports talker came close to ranking #1 in its market in May. Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia was the top ranker in the format, finishing at #4 with a 5.9 share. Read Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

John Bolton Book, BLM Protests/Rayshard Brooks Case, Trump Police Reform Order, COVID-19 Statistics/Beijing Outbreak, Aunt Jemima Retired, Presidential Race, China-India Clash, and Return of the NBA Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/17). The controversy and legal battle over former national security adviser John Bolton’s yet-to-be-released book; the Black Lives Matter protests and the officers being charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks; President Trump issues a police reform executive order; the COVID-19 statistics in the U.S., the states seeing increases, and the outbreak in Beijing; the Aunt Jemima brands are retired by PepsiCo; the November presidential election; the deadly clash between China and India over a disputed Himalayan border region; and the NBA prepares to return to action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Scott Herman Elected Chair of Broadcasters Foundation of America. The board of directors of the Broadcasters Foundation of America elects radio executive Scott Herman chair of the charitable organization. Herman served for years with CBS RADIO and Group W and he’s currently CEO of SHH Media Management. He takes over for Dan Mason, who remains on the board of directors. Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb is re-elected as vice chair. Additionally, Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones is elected to the board. Dan Mason says, “It has been an honor to serve the broadcasting industry as chair of the Broadcasters Foundation, and I look forward to continuing my involvement as a board member of this unique charity that helps our colleagues. I am pleased to turn over the chair seat to Scott, who I know to be both capable and caring. He loves this industry as much as I do and will work tirelessly to help those in our business who need it most.” Herman is a longtime member of the Foundation’s board and has served as vice chair since 2017.

DOUBLE HEADER: ‘Two Men, Two Games’ – Sean Spicer and Colin Cowherd Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. Former White House press secretary and current Newsmax TV host Sean Spicer and FOX Sports Radio/Television host Colin Cowherd are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In a two-part program titled, “Two Men, Two Games,” Harrison discusses a wide array of current issues with two of the most colorful individuals in talk media focusing on the impact that today’s turbulence is having on media, business, sports, and society. Harrison and Spicer talk about the seismic changes that have taken place in the relationship between the presidency and the press during the Donald Trump administration in addition to ongoing debate over government regulation of social media. Spicer also offers his perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement and offers a few tips on how to approach this president in an interview or ask him questions at a press conference. Harrison and Cowherd (who is ranked number one on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio) discuss the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns on professional sports, the delicate art of simulcasting a talk show on radio and television, the responsibility team owners have to the fans, as well as a fascinating breakdown on the political leanings of sports talk radio listeners. Don’t miss this power-packed installment of one of the world’s most-respected, media-oriented podcasts. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s exit from SummitMedia by SVP of programming Beverlee Brannigan, the company announces that Randy Chase is joining the company in the same capacity. SummitMedia says Chase joins the leadership team and will oversee all country music stations. He’ll report to EVP of programming Bill Tanner. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer states, “Randy’s experience across all formats and his passion to serve our listeners make him an excellent addition to our team. His ability to innovate in our industry and drive consumer engagement are attributes we are particularly excited about.” Chase has served with the Educational Media Foundation as VP of radio for the past seven years. Prior to that he led national country branding and programming for Cox Media Group. Chase will be based in Knoxville and will also serve as program director for country WCYQ, Knoxville “100.3 The Wolf.”…..Hubbard Radio makes changes to the air staff at Chicago hot AC WTMX “101.9 THE MIX.” Eric Ferguson remains in mornings but everything else changes. Sixteen-year afternoon drive personality Kevin “Koz” Koske leaves that daypart and will be director of creative services for both WTMX and sister AC WSHE. He’ll also handle some weekend and fill-in shifts. Taking over afternoon drive is evening host Chris Petlak and midday jock Lisa Allen. Taking over Allen’s midday slot is music director Nikki Chuminatto. Weekend personality Jordan “Dash” Weiss is upped to evening personality…..In Charlottesville, Virginia, Saga Communications lets classic rock WWWV morning host and imaging director Max Hoecker go and replaces his show with the Westwood One syndicated “Bob & Tom” Show…..United Stations Radio Networks announces a new program hosted by Grammy and Emmy award-winning musician Kenny Loggins. Titled, “Kenny Loggins: The Real Thing,” the program will debut at a yet-to-be-finalized date this summer and will be delivered as completely flexible segments allowing stations to build their imaging and music around voice tracks supplied by Kenny Loggins.