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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

| November 23, 2021

Dave Ramsey is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-media talk radio giant Dave Ramsey is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Based near Nashville, he’s been on the air for almost three decades dispensing advice about personal finance, faith, and grass-roots politics to an ever-growing audience that goes deep into the human psyche in dealing with debt, ambition, ethics, balance and leadership. Ramsey is ranked #2 on the 2021 TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America and he certainly practices what he preaches. Starting out with a small, money-oriented local radio show in Tennessee, he built his firm on the principles he espouses into a multi-million-dollar media operation known today as Ramsey Solutions employing over 1,000 people. The firm engages in filmmaking, book publishing, podcasting, live presentations and the radio syndication of a growing number of unique personalities. Ramsey Solutions has just released a ground-breaking full-length documentary film titled, Borrowed Future: How Student Loans are Killing the American Dream. Michael Harrison says, “It is one of the most important commentaries about our economy and culture to come out in years. Student loan debt is a major crisis smothering a generation. It is a disgrace.” Ramsey has also written and published a new book titled, Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too (Ramsey Press, 2021). Harrison and Ramsey discuss the student debt crisis, his plans for Ramsey Solutions going forward, and the current wave of inflation gripping the nation. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Quick: Program a Talk Station Like a Music Station – Sort of. Consultant Jon Quick says that just as a music programmer has a music playlist, so should a talk programmer have a topics playlist. “The topics playlist will appeal to your target audience. The list will continue to change and evolve every day. Too often we play topics that the host alone is interested in. Consider audience first. Does it matter to them? If so, go for it. Then, as in the case of a music programmer, judge the topic. Decide how often you ‘rotate’ it. There are those rare occasions where one topic might take up the whole show or the entire day if, for example, a major industry decides to leave the area, leaving hundreds jobless.” Read his column here.

Tom Tanguay to Retire from KIRO-FM, Seattle. Afternoon drive co-host Tom Tanguay announces he’s retiring from Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle, after the December 1 program. Tanguay made the announcement yesterday (11/22) and posted the following to its website. “Tom’s last show will be on Wednesday, December 1, having spent 27 years doing everything from news desk reporting to reviewing movies, all culminating in his co-hosting talk radio gig alongside John Curley on the ‘Tom & Curley Show.’ ‘This is the greatest job,’ he said on Monday’s edition of the show. ‘I just realized, at the age of 67 I’ve got other things I still want to do — there are just fascinating things in the world. I’ve worked in radio for 30 years and been on talk shows for the last decade, and now I want to try other things. I want to travel, I want to read, I want to study and all these kinds of things.” KIRO-FM management says it will announce its plans for the afternoon drive daypart soon.

iHeartMedia, Audacy, Emmis, and SiriusXM Sued by Group of Investors Over Petroleum Investment Losses. A group of more than 30 individuals and Trustees are suing iHeartMediaAudacyEmmis, and SiriusXM claiming that the companies aired the “Smart Oil and Gas” radio show hosted by Mark Allan Plummer despite his being sanctioned numerous times by FINRA, the Texas Securities Commissioner, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The plaintiffs lost all of their investments and are suing to be made whole by the media companies. The complaint alleges that the media companies broadcast Plummer’s program even though “the Texas State Securities Board and the SEC” labeled Plummer “a securities fraud ‘recidivist’ who has been investigated and/or sanctioned by FINRA, the SEC, and state securities boards for operating fraudulent oil and gas investment schemes since at least 2012.” It adds that “the Radio Stations’ choice to willingly or recklessly ignore publicly available history and private communications from concerned investors in order to permit a recidivist like Plummer to host his radio show is startling.” The complaint lists 10 such sanctions over a nine-year period. The complaint goes on to say, “Plummer’s success in soliciting monies from investors for his fraudulent scheme is directly attributable to Defendants’ recklessness, as described below, and the material aid Defendants provided to Plummer and his entities. Defendants served as the primary means for Plummer and his entities to solicit investors and create a public persona of a trusted adviser. Accordingly, the Radio Stations’ choices come with the unsurprising consequences of providing a gateway for so many individuals to lose their money. And the Radio Stations should be liable for the millions of dollars of harm caused by their misconduct.” The Plaintiffs are seeking actual and consequential damages, treble damages, exemplary damages, attorneys fees and more.

Good Karma Brands Produces 10th Annual Wisconsin Sports Awards. Media company Good Karma Brands – owner of news/talk WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; talk WGKB-AM “101.7 The Truth”; sports talk WAUK-AM “ESPN Milwaukee”; and WTLX-FM “ESPN Madison” is presenting the “10th Annual Wisconsin Sports Awards: History Made,” a televised event hosted by “ESPN Milwaukee” morning show host and national ESPN reporter, Jen Lada. The program recognizes high school, collegiate, and professional athletes across the state of Wisconsin and includes “captivating storytelling, interviews, and more from local talent, including Bob Uecker, voice of the Milwaukee Brewers; Dave Koehn and Ben Brust, play-by-play and color analyst for the Milwaukee Bucks; and more during the month of December.” The program will air four times across the state beginning on December 11 on WISC-TV, Madison. It will also air on WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee on December 18, on WKBT-TV, La Crosse on December 19; and on WBAY-TV, Green Bay on December 16. Good Karma says the show will feature interviews with the 2021 NBA champs the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers’ 2020 National League Rookie of the Year Devin Williams. It will also highlight athletes who have greatly impacted the community in unique ways with the Community Involved Athlete of the Year presented by JOCKEY and the Broken Bat Brewery Inspirational Athlete of the Year. The televised event will recognize the Cousins Subs Wisconsin Sports Awards scholarship winners.

Celebrating Thanksgiving with the Troops. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston Fort Bragg, North Carolina covering an early Thanksgiving celebration with the troops stationed there. Clugston traveled aboard Air Force One with President Joe Biden and the First Lady as they donned blue aprons with the presidential seal and served mashed potatoes and stuffing in the buffet line. Fort Bragg is home to the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps and the Army’s Special Operations Command.

January 6 Investigation/Subpoenas, Inflation/Gas Prices, Flash Mob Thefts, Biden Nominates Powell, COVID-19, Carlson-Rittenhouse Interview, Ahmaud Arbery Case, and Waukesha Parade Tragedy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/22). The investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and new subpoenas issued for testimony from former Donald Trump advisor Roger Stone and media personality Alex Jones; the high retail prices facing Americans, record high gas prices and President Joe Biden’s promise to release oil from the nation’s strategic reserves; the rash of flash mob smash-and-grab thefts in the Bay Area; Biden nominates Fed Chair Jerome Powell for another term; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe and pushback against mask and vaccine mandates; FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson interviews Kyle Rittenhouse; the jury gets the case in the trial of three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery; and the aftermath of the deadly vehicular assault on a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

| January 28, 2021

Curtis Sliwa of WABC, New York Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most colorful and original radio talk show hosts in America for more than three decades, Curtis Sliwa, now heard 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daily on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” According to Harrison, “Although known around the world as an expert/advocate on crime fighting and public safety and an innovator in the concept of citizens looking out for each other in dangerous situations – Curtis Sliwa is as much a part of the New York City scene as Central Park, the Coney Island Cyclone, the Staten Island Ferry and street pretzels… at least before the Big Apple became infested with the worms of COVID-19. He’s a larger-than-life character in the city. Metropolis has Superman, Gotham City has Batman and New York – the real New York – has this semi-costumed public figure… totally recognizable on the streets in his signature red beret and red sateen jacket.” Known by millions since the late 1970s as the founder and leader of The Guardian Angels, a grassroots organization that falls on the spectrum somewhere between populist vigilantism and neighborhood watch, Sliwa is also active in independent politics having served in the past as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party and now seriously flirting with a run for the Republican nomination for mayor of New York in the next election. He has a history of tangling with the mob and has been on the wrong side of the barrel of a gun for his bravery. He’s maintained success as a radio talk show host for years mostly on WABC (with a five-year run on Salem’s “AM 970 The Answer,” WNYM, New York) and is the ongoing subject of personal gossip in the New York City tabloids. Harrison adds, “Although tremendously intelligent and articulate, this guy is about as street as anyone in the media today. It was announced this week that Sliwa’s WABC midday show will be going through post-Donald Trump changes in its approach and positioning. So, I figured this would be a great time to catch up with him and discuss his career, political ambitions, the post-election environment, the state of news/talk radio and the challenges facing New York City and the nation.” 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.  Don’t miss this!

WIBA-AM, Madison Talk Host Dan O’Donnell Says State Official Trying to Silence Him. According to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal, news/talk WIBA-AM, Madison morning drive host Dan O’Donnell says a longtime critic and a current member of the state’s Ethics Commission is trying to use his position to silence him. O’Donnell’s nemesis is Scot Ross, who was appointed to the Commission in April of 2020 by outgoing Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Schilling. Previously, Ross led the liberal One Wisconsin Now organization. Ross has never been shy about calling out his political enemies in conservative media, including O’Donnell, but O’Donnell says Ross’ current call to boycott iHeartMedia stations because of O’Donnell’s and others’ opinions is a conflict because of Ross’ position. Ross says his membership on the government board doesn’t preclude him from voicing his opinions via personal social media accounts. But O’Donnell says that he and his employer, iHeartMedia, “are deciding how to proceed on any formal complaint against Ross with the Ethics Commission.”

KFGO, Fargo Simulcasting on KMJO-FM. Fargo news/talk outlet KFGO “The Mighty 790” has a new FM simulcast as Midwest Communications flipped KMJO-FM from country to a simulcast of KFGO. KMJO is a 100,000-watt Class C1 FM at 104.7 licensed to Hope, North Dakota (about 30 miles northwest of Fargo). KFGO also is heard on 94.1 FM via translator K231CV, Fargo. Midwest says, “Since 2017, KFGO has been simulcasting in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area on 94.1 FM but needed to serve communities on the FM dial outside of the metro area that depend on KFGO. Jamestown, Valley City, Lisbon, Gwinner, LaMoure, Ada, Barnesville, Hillsboro, Mayville and many others will now receive KFGO on 104.7 FM and 790 AM. The metro area will continue to hear KFGO on 790 AM, 94.1 FM and now 104.7 FM.” KFGO operations manager Joel Heitkamp comments, “Our goal at ‘The Mighty 790’ has always been to be there for our KFGO family of listeners. The power that 104.7 FM brings to the airways allows us to reach an even larger audience.”

Study: Smart Speaker Ownership on the Rise. According to NuVoodoo Media Services’ Ratings Prospects Study XVII, smart speaker penetration is up 67% among Persons 14-54. The study included close to 3,500 respondents ages 14-54. NuVoodoo EVP of research insights Leigh Jacobs says, “According to our January study, smart speakers are in the homes of 67% of 14 to 54-year-olds and the penetration rate is accelerating. Up from 60% last June and 56% in January 2020.” The company is hosting a free webinar titled, “How to Get Your Ratings From Here to Vaccinated,” on February 11 at 1:00 pm ET. You can register here.

RAB to Present Business Accelerated Initiative. The RAB announces that beginning this month it is shifting its marketing focus launched at the start of the pandemic from “Business Unusual” and later “Open for Business,” under the “Business Accelerated” umbrella. The new initiative includes a dedicated section on RAB.com called Business Accelerated and includes live presentations and updated RAB sales and marketing resources. Each month, RAB will spotlight an emerging advertising category with a live presentation. The launch of the series, titled, “Radio Works for Healthcare,” will focus on healthcare and is scheduled at 1:00 pm ET on February 17, 2021. “Radio Works for Healthcare” features: Tim Kolling, broadcast, digital & event marketing consultant from Alpha Media Topeka and Arra Yerganian, board member & chief marketing/brand/experience officer at Concentric Ventures, LLC. RAB members can register here.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal, Good Karma Brands is “close to signing a lease” that would move the studios of news/talk WTMJ-AM and its other Milwaukee signals sports talk WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN Milwaukee” to the city’s former downtown mall complex that’s being renamed 3rd Street Market Hall. WTMJ-AM’s studios are currently in the same complex as E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ-TV. Good Karma acquired WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM from Scripps for $16 million in 2018…..PodcastOne finalizes a deal to bring the award winning podcast “Our Fake History” into its fold by acquiring the exclusive sales and distribution rights to the program. Created and hosted by Canadian high school history teacher Sebastian Major, “Our Fake History” is a podcast that explores historical myths and misconceptions. In each episode Major closely examines stories that people think are historical fact but may very well be elaborate fiction. Did the Aztecs really think the Spanish conquistadors were gods? Was there a real island of Atlantis? Was baseball really invented in one afternoon by a civil war hero? “Our Fake History” looks at these questions and tries to determine what’s fact, what’s fiction, and what is such a good story it simply must be told…..SiriusXM and comic Kevin Hart’s “Laugh Out Loud” are launching three new original programs, including the debut podcast from Hart, “Inside Jokes with Kevin Hart.” The “Inside Jokes” show will feature Hart in conversation with fellow top comics, including Jerry Seinfeld as the inaugural guest…..Starnes Media Group announces that “The Todd Starnes Show” podcast has reached more than 1 million monthly downloads and was recently named one of the top 100 podcasts in America by Triton Digital…..Entercom sports talk outlet WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” and MLB’s Baltimore Orioles announce an extension to their broadcast partnership agreement today, keeping WJZ-FM as the flagship station for Orioles baseball.

iHeartRadio’s ‘Living Black!’ Event Takes Place on February 20. In conjunction with Black History Month, iHeartMedia is presenting “iHeartRadio’s Living Black!” that “spotlights the power of Black culture yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” iHeartMedia says the nationwide on-air celebration will feature the first-ever “iHeartRadio’s Living Black!” special event with performances by Roddy Ricch, 21 Savage, Jhené Aiko, Kirk Franklin and more of today’s biggest hip hop, R&B and Gospel music artists. The special airs on February 20 at 6:00 pm ET on iHeartRadio’s YouTube and Facebook pages; iHeartMedia hip hop, Gospel, and R&B stations; and the iHeartRadio app. In addition, the month-long “iHeartRadio’s Living Black!” celebration will highlight hundreds of Black artists, influencers and thought leaders through audio vignettes and tributes on 580 iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations in every format.

Trump Impeachment/GOP Backlash, Capitol Attack Investigation, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccine Issues, Biden Environmental Plan, Reddit Traders/Financial Markets Activity, and Cloris Leachman Dies at 94 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27). The impeachment case against Donald Trump and the backlash against GOP pols who support the impeachment; the investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol; the number of COVID cases and deaths in the U.S. and the problems affecting the rollout of vaccines; President Joe Biden unveils a $2 trillion environmental plan that hits the fossil fuels industry; the influence of “Reddit traders” on the world’s financial markets; and actress Cloris Leachman dies at the age of 94 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.