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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

| March 15, 2022

Dominic ‘Zakk’ Zaccagnini Named PD for WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse. Radio programming pro Dominic “Zakk” Zaccagnini is named program director for “NewsRadio WHAM 1180,” classic rock WAIO-FM “Radio 95.1” in Rochester and news/talk WSYR, Syracuse, effective immediately. He will report to Tias Schuster, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Upstate New York. Zaccagnini joins the iHeartMedia Rochester and Syracuse markets from Cumulus Media’s rock KSAN-FM, San Francisco where he was program director and afternoon drive host while also handling pregame host duties for the Kansas City Chiefs on KCFX-FM, Kansas City. Schuster says, “Zakk is a winner with deep programming knowledge coming from multiple formats and major markets. We look forward to his vision, energy, and leadership that he will bring to our stations.” Zakk comments, “It is a privilege for me to join so many talented professionals and become part of these amazing brands in this management role. I am grateful and very excited for this opportunity. Thanks to everyone at iHeartMedia for making it happen!”

 

Jeff Austin Adds ‘ESPN 1320’ Sacramento Brand Manager Duties. Programming pro Jeff Austin is named brand manager for Audacy’s KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320.” Austin continues his current role with the company as brand manager for sports talk outlets KFXX-AM “1080 The Fan” and KMTT-AM “910 ESPN” in Portland. He assumes the duties from Danny Freisinger, who was recently promoted to director of sports for Audacy’s 2400Sports podcast studio. Audacy Sacramento and San Francisco SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “We’re delighted to bring Jeff’s ability to mold local sports brands to our market and have his oversight at the helm of KIFM. His experience managing two favorites in Portland will serve him well as he expands his role with us, and we look forward to watching ‘ESPN 1320’ continue to build on its success.”

 

WBZ-FM, Boston’s Tony Massarotti Named Color Commentator for NESN’s Red Sox Coverage. Boston sports media personality Tony Massarotti is named the TV color commentator for NESN’s presentation of Boston Red Sox games this season. Massarotti co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Michael Felger on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” Massarotti also hosts “The Baseball Hour with Tony Mazz” on “98.5 The Sports Hub” during the baseball season. He served as the Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald from 1994-2008. He’s also the co-author of Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits, with David Ortiz, and Knuckler: My Life with Baseball’s Most Confounding Pitch, written with Tim Wakefield. Massarotti says, “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, but it was obviously a unique circumstance that required the sacrifices and cooperation of many people. I can’t say enough about the support and open-mindedness of the people at Beasley Media Group, The Sports Hub, NESN and the Red Sox for their parts in making this work. In all my time reporting on and talking about baseball, I can’t ever remember being more excited about an approaching Boston baseball season than I am for this one.”

 

WSB, Atlanta Celebrates 100 Years of Service. Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM is celebrating its 100th anniversary serving the market today (3/15). Cox Media Group says its flagship brand, WSB Radio, broadcast across the airwaves for the first time on March 15, 1922 and was the first radio station in the Southeast. The station’s call stood for “Welcome South Brother.” CMG says the station was soon nicknamed The Voice of the South and today continues delivering the news, weather, sports and traffic that matter to listeners while giving back to the Atlanta community. The company adds, “WSB expanded in 2010 to a full-time simulcast on 95.5 FM, extending its footprint across the metro Atlanta area. With its expanded reach, WSB set its sights on innovating its content, digital platforms, programming, sales, production, promotions and engineering, all contributing to the brand’s ongoing success and longevity.” CMG Atlanta and Athens VP/GM Jaleigh Long states, “As we celebrate this milestone, we are honored to have such a talented and diverse team who have served WSB through the years to help us remain at the forefront of innovation that keeps us connected to our audience and local advertisers. 100 years of community service is in our DNA and if there’s anything we are proud of, it’s the station’s rich history of uplifting the surrounding community. WSB’s never-ending commitment to innovation and embracing change will propel the us into the next century and beyond.”

 

Media Execs Spencer Brown and Charles Steinhauer Form New Firm Gemini XIII. The new company, Gemini XIII, is described in a press release as “the podcasting and radio industries’ new home for premium audio content, production and marketing services.” The company is being founded by Cadence13 and Dial Global founder Spencer Brown (left) and former Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer (right). At the same time, Gemini XIII announces it has acquired The Infinite Agency, a full-service digital advertising agency based in Dallas, as well as Phantom Producer, an audio imaging service from Australian audio producer Jeff Thomas that includes web and mobile app user interfaces. Jonathan Ogle is remaining in his president role with The Infinite Agency and Thomas will continue to lead Phantom Producer. Gemini XIII is based in New York, with offices in Dallas and Sydney, Australia. Gemini XIII CEO Spencer Brown says, “We are pleased to announce the launch of Gemini XIII with the acquisition of two of audio and advertising’s most innovative companies, The Infinite Agency, and Phantom Producer. These great companies are a formidable launching pad for what we expect to be Gemini XIII’s growing portfolio of audio’s most exciting brands. We welcome the talented professionals at these organizations to the Gemini XIII family and look forward to serving our partners and customers with the very best in content and services.” Company COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “These two companies represent a solid foundation of talented people from which Gemini XIII will continue to build. We are committed to bringing new resources and capabilities to audio and to offer new and creative ways to tell stories in audio. We are actively exploring opportunities to complement these organizations to once again build and grow a new breed of audio company.”

 

WWO Audio Active Group: Radio Helps Reach More Swing Voters. According to data from Nielsen VP of cross platform insights Tony Hereau, “the addition of AM/FM radio to a political media plan can generate an extraordinary amount of incremental voter reach.” Hereau recently presented the findings to the American Association of Political Consultants in a report called, “The 10% Solution: Optimizing the Political Media Plan with Radio to Reach Swing Voters.” Some of the key findings in his report include: 1) 45% of voters are zero/light TV viewers who are impossible to reach with TV ads: Nielsen finds there has been a sharp increase in voters who watch little or no TV; 2) The combination of connected TV and AM/FM radio can reach voters who are zero/light TV viewers: AM/FM radio reaches 82% of zero/light TV voters. Connected TV reaches 62% of zero/light TV voters. Combined, CTV and AM/FM radio can significantly supplement the political media plan; 3) Zero/light TV voters reached by AM/FM radio are younger, upscale, and more likely to have kids; 4) AM/FM radio is a rich source of swing voters: 40% to 50% of AM/FM radio programming format audiences are swing voters, according to Nielsen; and 5) AM/FM radio advertising was the untold secret ingredient to Glenn Youngkin’s Virginia gubernatorial victory. See more from this post here.

 

BIA: Local Audio Ad Spend Forecast for 2022 is $14.7 Billion. According to a new forecast from BIA Advisory Services, $14.7 billion will be spent in ad-supported local audio platforms including broadcast radio and digital audio. BIA says the local audio advertising marketplace is becoming more competitive with more streaming services and podcasts. While the shares of local radio OTA (Over-the-Air) advertising is eroding, radio digital is increasing, providing radio stations an avenue to still increase their sales. BIA’s local audio estimate breaks out advertising revenue forecast for 2022 from each of the following local ad-supported local audio platforms: Radio OTA: $12.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations for sale of time to either national or local advertisers from their over-the-air broadcasts. Does not include any advertising sold by the national radio networks. Radio Digital: $1.7 billion – All revenues generated by local radio stations from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market from their online activities. Includes display and streaming advertising revenue other than Pandora. Pandora: $400 million – Audio and display advertising revenue generated by Pandora from national, regional and local advertisers targeting a local market.

 

TALKERS News Notes. New York City talk radio host Mark Simone tells TALKERS magazine that his 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR-AM “has set a new ratings record, getting the largest total audience (Persons 6+) of any radio station in New York, beating all of the 85 other stations – the only talk show to do that in this century.” Simone’s program garnered a 6.7 share for the two-hour period in Nielsen’s January 2022 PPM survey…..WABC, New York talk host Sid Rosenberg has a cool TV gig on the side. As reported by InsideRadio, Rosenberg plays Dave Busco, a soldier in a crime family, in the Amazon Prime series “Gravesend.”…..Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 national news service SRN News is providing live, comprehensive coverage of a rare “virtual” address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tomorrow (3/16). SRN live coverage begins at 9:00 am ET anchored by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston, featuring remarks by Zelensky followed by recap and analysis of the Urkrainian leader’s address. Additionally, the network’s nationally syndicated “Mike Gallagher Show” on Wednesday will not only feature highlights of Zelensky’s remarks but a special “America Reacts” segment as listeners from coast-to-coast weigh in with their instant reaction to the latest development in the four-week Russia/Ukraine conflict…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is again presenting complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Coverage will tip off with First Four action on Tuesday, March 15 and run through the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 2 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 4 in both English and Spanish. Westwood One is also announcing the expansion of its coverage of NCAA Women’s Championship events. For the first time, both the Women’s Frozen Four and the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be broadcast nationally on radio. Westwood One’s women’s coverage will also include the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament featuring every game from the Sweet Sixteen through the Final Four and National Championship Game, as well as every game of the Women’s College World Series…..Audacy’s Cadence13 podcast studio announces a partnership with creator-focused new media company Puck and the launch of the program “The Powers That Be Daily,” that brings listeners inside the four corners of power in America: Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Hamby and Puck’s team of founding partners, including Julia Ioffe, Matt Belloni, Dylan Byers, Theodore Schleifer, Tina Nguyen, Eriq Gardner, Baratunde Thurston, and William D. Cohan, “pick up where the news ends to explore the story behind the stories driving the day’s headlines across Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood with a digestible and dishy 15-20 minute daily rundown featuring insider insights.”

 

Chicago Radio Legend Pervis Spann Dies at 89. WGN-TV reports that Chicago radio legend Pervis Spann has died of complications from Alzheimer’s. During his career in radio he served as a DJ and helped build WVON-AM where his daughter Melody Spann-Cooper currently serves as president and general manager.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, U.S.-China Relations, Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19/People’s Convoy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6, and Urban Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s role in sanctions and arming the Ukrainian military; the U.S.’s relations with China as Russia asks Xi Jinping for military aid; soaring gas prices and the still rising costs of retail consumer goods; the leveling of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the lockdowns in China, and the still-active People’s Convoy protesting mandates in Washington, DC; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Gini’s admission to attending the rally prior to the raid on the Capitol on January 6, 2021; the capture of a man suspected of killing homeless people and the arrest of an NYC man who beat an elderly Asian woman were some of the top stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

 

Talk Radio Revolution! Conservative News Talk Morning Radio Producer based in Richmond, VA. Emerging and exciting independent conservative talk-news radio stations/media network is seeking top-notch career-oriented executive for morning producer.

This position is full-time, based in Richmond, Virginia with unlimited growth potential.

The company’s morning show host is a nationally known figure who owns radio stations across the mid-Atlantic region. This is not a remote position, as the producer must work in the flagship studio in south Richmond, VA. The AM hours are 5:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The position requires solid radio production knowledge, creativity, perseverance and the ability to multi-task in the morning. The right candidate will produce the morning show, field phone calls from high-level political figures and live callers, manage the clock, run the ads and navigate through normal live radio issues.

The show host is usually remote traveling the nation. Once the show is completed, the successful candidate is responsible for all post-production as well as running the next show. The successful candidate must be very internet and social media savvy and enjoy a lightning fast-paced environment and work well in the sandbox with others.

This position offers incredible freedom of expression and you will not be micro-managed in a corporate-bean counter driven mentality. You must be able to work independently with little day to day direction. If you love radio but hate the direction our industry is headed with corporate empty suits telling you what to do every fifteen-minutes then we are the company for you!

We play :60-:75 seconds of classic rock music in the morning before each segment so you have to be selecting songs to connect with our audience. We are an independent network and growing. This is a conservative-talk enterprise with the leading America First hosts in the nation, so you should feel comfortable in that environment.

While our competitors are shrinking and laying staff off – we are buying and growing. Come join our talk radio revolution! We are an equal opportunity employer. Competitive salary. Please send a short cover letter and your resume to: ApplyJFMN@gmail.com – Include producer in the subject line. The base salary is $40-50K depending on experience. This is a self-relocation if you live outside of RVA.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

| August 18, 2020

Brian Davis Named OM for Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh. Programming pro Brian Davis returns to Cumulus Media to take on the operations manager position for the company’s Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin cluster that includes news/talk WOSH-AM, country WPKR-FM, classic hits WVBO-FM, alternative WWWX-FM, and nostalgia WNAM-AM. Davis served as a programmer in Cumulus’ Bloomington, Illinois cluster from 2011-2016. Most recently, he was a brand manager for Townsquare Media’s Dubuque, Iowa station group. Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh VP and market manager John Rowe says, “This is a homecoming of sorts for Brian, having worked in the marketplace a few years ago. We’re thrilled to have Brian’s passion for radio and know he will make an immediate impact at a time when programming leadership is critical to the cluster’s continuing success.” Davis comments, “I am very excited to be rejoining Cumulus and returning to Northeast Wisconsin. We have an outstanding team and a great lineup of stations, and I know we’re going to do great things together!”

Entercom Names ‘D-Lo and KC’ Midday Show at ‘ESPN 1320’ in Sacramento. The new 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show at Entercom’s KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” is “D-Lo and KC,” hosted by Damien Barling (left) and Kenny Caraway (right). Entercom Sacramento Stacey Kauffman says, “Damien and Kenny are two incredibly talented, local personalities that bring passion, energy and enthusiasm to 1320. Damien’s market experience coupled with Kenny’s passion for Northern California sports make this a winning combination. I couldn’t be more excited to see what they’re able to accomplish right out of the gate on air and on our digital platforms.” Barling previously hosted on sister KHTK-AM’s “The Lo-Down.” Caraway is a content creator across multiple mediums, including podcasting, sports radio host, podcast and radio producer, as well as co-host for The Athletic’s Sacramento Kings podcast, “Throne Room Breakdown.”

‘New Jersey 101.5’ to Present Back to School Town Hall. This year’s “back-to-school” season is very different from past years due to COVID-19 and Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting the latest in its Town Hall broadcast series to help New Jersey parents prepare for the start of the new school year. New Jersey has more than 600 school districts with each setting its own policies regarding how and where kids will begin school, leading to great confusion among parents. Station special projects director Eric Scott leads the news and digital departments in bringing health and education experts together to answer parents’ questions. He says, “Kids may be permitted to attend some in-class learning, but is it safe to do so? We will get parents the answers they need to make the best decisions possible for their children.” The program’s expert panel will feature: Marie Blistan, president, New Jersey Education Association; Patricia Wright, executive director, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association; Dr. Margaret Fisher, world-renowned pediatric infectious disease specialist; and Dr. Steve Tobias, director, Center for Child and Family Development. Scott and his guests will answer live, call-in questions from listeners throughout the hour. The broadcast takes place Thursday (8/20) at 7:00 pm and is being streamed on Facebook Live and via the New Jersey 101.5 app.

‘97.1 The Fan’ in Columbus Unveils New Lineup. Columbus sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan” unveils its new program schedule, including its new morning drive show. The Tegna station puts ‘Fan’ personality Brandon Beam together with former Ohio State linebackers Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel for the “Morning Juice” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. The station also creates a new midday show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Station director of operations Matt Erhard says, “In addition to the energy and excitement of launching ‘Morning Juice,’ I’m excited to team up Anthony Rothman, who’s been covering sports in Central Ohio for 27 years, with Matty “Ice” Hayes, a born and raised Ohioan who brings fresh perspective and insight as he makes the move from producer to host. I’m extremely proud to see these next career steps for guys who have helped shape ‘The Fan’ into the sports powerhouse that it is today.” The station is making a move physically as well. Vice president and general manager Todd Markiewicz says, “I am also excited to announce that we are moving our radio studios from Front Street to the 10TV building on Twin Rivers with brand new, state of the art broadcasting facilities. Creating synergy between 97.1 The Fan’s sports lineup along with 10TV’s sports anchors allows us to create ‘The Best Damn Sports Team In The Land.’ With TV and radio’s sports personalities under the same roof, we will be able to provide the most thorough and entertaining sports information to fans in Columbus for years to come!”

Lisa Ann Bonk Joins JAM Media Solutions as National Sales Manager. Radio sales pro Lisa Ann Bonk is named national sales manager for JAM Media Solutions. The company operates seven radio stations – three music brands in Iowa, plus news/talk WZPR-FM, Nags Head, North Carolina and three music brands on the Outer Banks – as well as digital publication OBXToday.com and a New Jersey-based direct response ad agency. Bonk worked with new company COO Steve Borneman at WABC, New York and also served as a regional manager at Interep Radio. Borneman says, “I am happy to be reunited with Lisa! Lisa hired me many, many years ago at 77 WABC and I am looking forward to the contributions she will make at JAM. Lisa is one of the best sales leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working with and she’s an all-around wonderful person!”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a story at Crossing Broad, Beasley Media Group is going to lease the old WIP-AM – now WTEL-AM – to iHeartMedia and that company plans to flip the format. It’s currently airing sports as “610 ESPN Philadelphia.” Beasley acquired the signal in a swap with CBS RADIO…..Good Karma Brands’ “ESPN Cleveland” is launching a new daily podcast titled, “The Daily Grossi,” hosted by Cleveland Browns analyst Tony Grossi and Matt Fontana. “ESPN Cleveland” director of content Matt Fishman says, “Tony is the eyes and ears for the fans this year at training camp. ‘The Daily Grossi’ podcast provides fans an inside look at Kevin Stefanski’s first season as the Browns head coach as he tackles the additional challenges 2020 has provided.”…..FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd appeared on the August 14 edition of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” in which he talked about the possible impact of the college football season on the presidential election, how major sports leagues have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to salvage their seasons, and a variety of other sports topics. You can see it here.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections/College Outbreaks, USPS Funding/DeJoy Testimony, Presidential Race/DNC, Southwest Heatwave/California Power Woes, and Protests/Urban Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17). The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., projections for more cases, and the outbreaks at some college campuses; the state of the U.S. Postal Service, its funding woes, and next week’s testimony before Congress by USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy; the November presidential election and last night’s opening of the Democratic National Convention; the record-setting heatwave in the Southwest and the rolling blackouts in California; and the Portland protests and urban violent crime increase in several cities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the adult hits format. In this report, you will find charts that show weekly 6+ AQH share movement compared to the June 2020 PPM survey, the July 2019 PPM survey, as well as market rank and market share. See the whole report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Notifying their listeners via social media, country WQMX, Akron program director and afternoon host Ken Steel and station music director Jody Svoboda Wheatley have been let go by owner Rubber City Radio Group. Noting that their departure is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wheatley posts to Facebook: “Exactly two weeks ago I celebrated my 19th year working at WQMX, and it turns out that today is my last. Our company decided that I should be their first COVID casualty, along with my favorite co-worker, Ken Steel. I guess if I wasn’t going to leave the company on my own terms, at least I left in the next best possible way…at the top with the best ratings WQMX has ever had, and next to the best boss and co-worker/friend that I’ve made along the way. So I guess it only makes sense that we exit this ride together, even though we both don’t deserve it. It’s definitely their loss. Not sure what’s next for me, but I guess I’m ready to find out.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

| July 28, 2020

WIND-AM, Chicago’s Steve Cortes Takes Leave to Work for Trump Campaign. WIND-AM Chicago afternoon drive talk host Steve Cortes is taking leave of his program on the Salem Media Group station to join the Donald Trump re-election campaign as senior advisor of communications. Cortes – who served on the 2016 Trump campaign’s Hispanic Advisory Council in addition to acting as a surrogate for Trump – became the host of the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program in January of this year. Salem Chicago regional vice president and WIND-AM general manager Jeff Reisman says, “While we wish Steve could stay on the air with us during these next few critical months before the election, we also understand the pull that Steve feels to help President Trump. Steve will have a front row seat to history between now and the election, and we look forward to welcoming him back in November and having him share his firsthand account of how this campaign unfolded with our audience.” In the interim, WIND’s afternoon drive will feature a fill-in host to be announced.

Lotus Broadcasting Announces Re-Brand of KRLV-AM, Las Vegas as ‘Raider Nation Radio 920 AM.’ In partnership with the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, Lotus Broadcasting reveals that its rock KOMP-FM, Las Vegas “92.3 The Rock Station” will serve as the Raiders’ flagship radio station for play-by-pay and that it is re-launching KRLV-AM as “Raider Nation Radio 920AM.”  Beginning August 3, “Raider Nation Radio 920AM” will feature a lineup that includes: “Pritch & Clay” – Mike Pritchard and Clay Baker – in morning drive; ESPN’s Mike Greenberg Show from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; JT the Brick from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; “Silver & Black Today” with host Scott Gulbransen; and “In the Huddle with Vincent Bonsignore” from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Lotus general manager Natalie Marsh says, “We are incredibly excited to partner with the Las Vegas Raiders and broadcast their games to a sports craved Las Vegas fanbase. Launching ‘Raider Nation Radio 920AM’ will give Raiders and NFL fans unparalleled access to the Raiders and the league as a whole.” Lotus says that with Clay Baker joining Mike Pritchard in morning drive, air personality Tyler Bischoff is moving to the company’s sports talk KWWN “ESPN Las Vegas” alongside longtime Review Journal columnist Ed Graney for mornings.

Entercom Names Danny Freisinger Brand Manager for ‘ESPN 1320’ in Sacramento. Sports talk pro Danny Freisinger adds the brand manager role for KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” to his duties with Entercom. Freisinger serves as assistant brand manager for KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” and will continue in that position as well. Entercom Sacramento SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “For the last four years, Danny has consistently given ‘95.7 The Game’ listeners a reliable home for premier coverage of their favorite teams and we’re excited to expand his role with ‘ESPN 1320. With a fair amount of Bay Area fans rooted in Sacramento, Danny will lead the way in reshaping how we cover sports in Northern California and better serve fans.”

Nielsen Audio Exits Nine Small Markets. Ratings giant Nielsen Audio announces it is exiting the radio ratings business in nine small U.S. markets: Battle Creek, Michigan; Bend, Oregon; Billings, Montana; Grand Junction, Colorado; New Bedford-Fall River, Massachusetts; Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas; Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, Washington; Twin Falls-Sun Valley, Idaho; and Yakima, Washington. The company says in a press statement, “Like most commercial businesses, Nielsen Audio continually reviews the economic viability of doing business in all markets. If the audio marketplace in select markets cannot financially support measurement, we discontinue producing our syndicated market report in those markets. That is just business as usual, the typical expansion and contraction of our rated audio market list, which is the case with these nine markets.”

PPM Analysis: Cume Part 4 – The #1 Club. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps up his analysis of Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey and the four-part dive into station cume with a review of the outlets that finished tops in cume in their respective markets. In this report you’ll find charts detailing #1 cume stations by market size, #1 cume stations by format, cume rank versus AQH share rank, and more. See it all here.

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit sports talk host Jamie Samuelsen announces to WXYT-FM, Detroit listeners that he’s been battling colon cancer for the past two years. Mlive.com reports that Samuelsen made the announcement on Monday’s “Jamie & Stoney” program (7/27), telling listeners, “Each morning since my diagnosis, I got up, turned on the radio mic, and got to talk sports. I needed the escape from cancer, just like so many of our listeners who face hardships, grief and illness, too, they turned to us in the morning for some levity in this crazy world. So, I wanted to continue to have fun and not let cancer get in the way of doing what I loved. Connecting with listeners, laughing, teasing Stoney, all of it, it helped me be normal, while continuing to fight this disease.” He added, “It’s a battle. It goes on. I don’t want to make it sound like this is any sort of goodbye, because it’s not.”.…..The Bubba The Love Sponge program adds two new affiliate stations as Birach Broadcasting adds the show to WCXI, Detroit and WWCS, Pittsburgh. The program is based at Genesis Communications’ WWBA-AM, Tampa and is syndicated via United Cities Productions…..Gow Media announces that the new SportsMap Radio Network has officially launched with the talent lineup including: Scott Ferrall, Tony Bruno, Jake Asman, Scott Wetzel, Matt Perrault, Anthony Pepe, Gabe Morency, and Eytan Shander. SportsMap program director and Gow Media COO Craig Larson comments, “We have been overwhelmed by the tremendous response to this exciting endeavor. With a solid infrastructure in place, and led by a dynamic innovator in David Gow, SportsMap Radio is well positioned to be an industry leader for many years to come.”

Skyview Networks’ Virtual Sales Conference Taking Place This Week. The annual sales conference hosted by Skyview Networks is virtual this year and got underway yesterday (7/27). Among the presenters are: Erica Farber, CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau; Stacia Deshishku, vice president and general manager of ABC Audio; and Skyview Networks’ CEO Ken Thiele, president and COO Steve Jones, and executive vice president and general manager, Jeanne-Marie Condo. Skyview announced that it will reveal new network partnerships this week “that will expand its business further through the acquisition of the audiences that advertisers desire and, in doing so, create greater financial benefit for its partner networks.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Vaccine Tests Begin, Fall School Opening Debate, BLM Protests/Federal Troop Deployment, GOP Stimulus Bill, Big Tech CEOs Before Congress, MLB’s Season Opens Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/27). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the first Phase 3 vaccine trial begins the in U.S.; the ongoing debate over whether to and how to open schools this fall; the Black Lives Matter protests taking place in various cities and controversy over the Trump administration’s use of federal forces; Senate Republicans announce their new stimulus package – the HEALS Act; Wednesday’s testimony by big tech CEOs before the House Judiciary Committee; and Major League Baseball’s season opens 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. The Premiere Networks-syndicated alternative morning program “The Woody Show” gets its first Canadian affiliate as My Broadcasting Company’s CJMB-FM, Peterborough, Ontario adds the program for morning drive. Host Woody says, “A big thank you to Rob Mise and Jon Pole at MBC Radio for believing in us even after they spent endless hours listening to our show. We have been workshopping some new jokes for our big Canadian debut on ‘FREQ 90.5,’ and we’re confident that we’ll at least get a smirk from five out of 10 of them. We appreciate the opportunity and look forward to being part of the chaos.”