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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

| May 17, 2022

Radio One Names Jeff Rickard Program Director for Sports Talk WFNZ, Charlotte. Sports talk radio pro Jeff Rickard is named program director for Radio One’s WFNZ-AM/FM. Rickard most recently served as brand manager for Audacy’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Prior to that, he was PD and morning host at Emmis’ WFNI, Indianapolis. During his career he’s also served with Comcast, ESPN Radio, and Sirius XM. Radio One RVP Marsha Landess comments, “We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment. Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.” Rickard adds, “I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work. Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

 

Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2022 sweep covered March 31 – April 27. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM dips two-tenths, posting a 3.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #8. Audacy’s crosstown all-news WINS is up one-tenth, finishing the survey with a 4.2 share and rises to #6. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles climbs four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 5.1 share and climbs to the #3 rank, while Audacy’s all-news KNX-FM loses half a share for a 3.4 share finish and falls to the #8 rank.  In Atlanta, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM sheds a half share but remains ranked #3 on the strength of a 6.4 share. Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is ranked #1 in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union market despite losing seven-tenths and finishing with a 6.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

 

FMR Associates-Eastlan: Radio Listening Rises 31% in Last Six Months. According to a study conducted in March and April for FMR Associates and Eastlan Ratings clients to determine usage levels of local AM/FM radio compared to the period six months prior, a number of positive conclusions were reached. The study reveals that in the last six months, weekly AM/FM radio listening is on the increase: 31% indicate they are listening to radio more, compared to 18% listening less. This finding is regardless of sex, age or market rank. FMR Associates-Eastlan says, “This unique finding bodes well for traditional radio growing as the pandemic comes to an end and even as more audio options such as podcasts and streaming platforms are available.” Digging deeper, the study found that the increase in weekly AM/FM listening is greatest among adults 25-44 at 37%. Men and women are equally increasing their listening time with AM/FM radio. More people going back to work, commuting and some cutting back on subscription audio or video services are among the primary factors cited for increased AM/FM consumption. Also, current weekly AM/FM radio listening is at 86% in the 25 to 64 age group. Significantly, cume listening is strong and consistent regardless of age, sex, market rank or geographic region. The statistically projectable national survey of 25 to 64 year-old adults from the thousands surveyed each month by Eastlan was demographically balanced and geographically representative.

 

Audacy’s State of Audio Explores Key Audio Trends. The second edition of Audacy’s “State of Audio” e-book that details key insights relevant to the listeners, creators and advertisers revolutionizing audio has been released. Some of the key metrics from the guide include: 1) Audio revenue outpaced video in 2021. Per the latest IAB Advertising Revenue Report, audio streaming revenue is up +59% YOY. And audio streaming growth is outpacing investments in video, social and search; 2) Audio usage has eclipsed TV, including CTV Audio reaches everyone, with 99% of US adults reporting using audio monthly. And that’s more than the total use of TV, including connected devices. (Source: Nielsen, Q4 2021); and 3) Time spent listening on AM/FM streaming and podcast content has increased +64% from 2015 to Q1 2022. (Source: Edison Research, Share of Ear Study, Q4 2015-Q1 2022). Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman comments, “Audio is a trusted companion to hundreds of millions of listeners and more than any other medium, the best way creators across the globe connect with their audiences authentically and intimately at scale. Our second edition of the ‘State of Audio, The Disruptors: The Listeners, Advertisers, and Creators Revolutionizing Audio’ focuses on the people, strategies, and content shaping Audio’s meteoric rise as a must have media for marketers.” See more here.

 

KBLA, Los Angeles Debuts ‘A More Perfect Union.’ A new weekend program is launching this Sunday (5/22) on Smiley Audio Media’s KBLA, Los Angeles. “A More Perfect Union,” hosted by journalist, educator, and KBLA “Talk 1580” chief national political analyst Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey. Airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, the program is a “national public affairs program, featuring notable journalists, industry leaders, lawmakers, changemakers, tastemakers, and ordinary people motivated to do their part to reach beyond today’s divisions; make sense out of news of the day and offer listeners a chance to build a more perfect union.” Smiley Audio Media owner Tavis Smiley says, “Now more than ever the Black constituency must first be made aware, and then armed with information that can help advance the issues we care about and repel the ideas that are antithetical to the best interests of our community. The time is now for ‘A More Perfect Union,’ which is a weekly show designed to keep our community in the know with a moderator like Dr. Quartey, who keeps his ear to the ground and his heart attuned to the causes we care about.”

 

‘100 Years of WGN Radio’ to Air on WGN-TV. On Thursday (5/19) at 7:00 pm, the special program, “100 Years of WGN Radio: A Retrospective,” will air on WGN-TV, Chicago. The 45-minute documentary produced by WGN Radio tells the story of the station, starting with its beginnings in 1922 when it was founded by Chicagoans Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins as WDAP, to highlighting moments throughout its century of history up to present day. Viewers will see the faces of familiar voices, including Bob Sirott, John Williams, Lou Manfredini, Steve King and Johnnie Putman, Dave Eanet, Mary Van De Velde, Dave Plier, and others, reflecting on their experiences at the station and sharing memorable moments. The program will be re-broadcast on Sunday, May 22 at 2:00 pm CT on WGN-TV.

 

Tim Hartlage Returns to Salem to Lead Sales in Nashville. Radio management pro Tim Hartlage is returning to Salem Media Group to serve as general sales manager for the company’s Nashville operations. Hartlage served as GSM and then general manager for the company’s Louisville station group from 2005 to 2015. He says, “Leaving Salem in 2015 to plant a much-needed church and ministry in Louisville’s southwest area, my old neighborhood, with my wife Jennifer, was one of the toughest decisions we had ever made. Returning to Salem and joining the Nashville team as general sales manager was one of the easiest. Salem Nashville is in an incredibly vibrant market with a great reputation. It’s great to be a part of the Salem Family again. It feels like a homecoming.”

 

Buffalo Shooting/Great Replacement Theory, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, and UFO Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16). The aftermath of the deadly Buffalo shooting and talk of the Great Replacement Theory; the financial markets, inflation, and concerns about a major recession on the horizon; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s threats against Finland and Sweden; the primary races for November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.; and today’s scheduled congressional hearing on UFOs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, April 11, 2022

| April 11, 2022

Pending Business: It Should Be Easy. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says in today’s column that advertising with your news/talk station should be easy. But, is it? He says, “I’m betting it’s more difficult than you think.” If you’ve never done it, try to call your station – from outside the building – and go through the process of reaching the sales department. Lapa offers a “self-check” to see how you do in the area of communication. Read more here.

 

Monday Memo: Bad News. Following-up last week’s column about how stations can better-exploit “good news,” consultant Holland Cooke outlines a playbook for “handling the gaffes inevitable in talk radio.” Read more here.

 

Cumulus Media and Daily Wire Partner for Local Digital News. A new syndication agreement between conservative news and entertainment media company The Daily Wire and Cumulus Media will include delivering Daily Wire digital content to Cumulus radio station websites in key markets across the United States. Under the terms of the deal, Daily Wire breaking news, original reporting, sports, and entertainment coverage by The Daily Wire is available on more than 50 Cumulus radio station websites, with plans to expand in the coming weeks. Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and president of Westwood One, Suzanne Grimes, says, “This new deal expands our partnership with Daily Wire to include yet another Cumulus distribution platform. Our listeners now have a new way to engage with high quality content from The Daily Wire, in real time, on our Cumulus local stations’ websites.” Westwood One and Daily Wire already partner to deliver “The Ben Shapiro Radio Show.” Last year, Westwood One and Daily Wire announced they were expanding broadcast programming offerings with the addition of “The Michael Knowles Show” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.

 

‘The Regular Joe Show’ Enters Syndication with Genesis Communications Network. Talk radio host Joe Giganti announces he and Genesis Communications Network are partnering to nationally syndicate his “The Regular Joe Show.” His program has been regionally syndicated throughout Wisconsin from his home base at Midwest Communications’ WTAQ, Green Bay since 2020. Giganti says, “When I moved to Green Bay in 2007 from my native Washington, D.C., I quickly recognized the pivotal role Wisconsin specifically and the heartland generally play in our national political identity. This impact was drawn into crystal-clear focus with the intrigue surrounding the 2020 elections.” GCN affiliates director Adam Miller comments, “The GCN family is excited to welcome ‘The Regular Joe Show’ to its morning lineup! With a proven track record in Green Bay and markets across Wisconsin as a whole, we look forward to seeing this broadcast perform at a national scale as our country transitions into an uncertain and polarized future.”

 

iHeartMedia Names Whalley VP of Sales for WOR-AM and WAXQ-FM in New York. Radio sales pro Brittany Whalley joins iHeartMedia New York as vice president of sales for news/talk WOR-AM “The Voice of New York” and classic rock WAXQ-FM “Q104.3.” In this role, Whalley will be responsible for overseeing the Q104.3 and 710 WOR sales teams, including sales growth and strategic partnerships. She will report to SVP of sales Steve DeLusant. Whalley joins the iHeartMedia New York team from Cox Media Group’s Long Island station group where she was general sales manager. She says, “iHeartMedia is a massive leader in the audio space and I am ecstatic to be joining their NYC team. I look forward to collaborating with the incredibly talented sales team and achieving goals the leadership team has put in place. The abundance of resources available at iHeartMedia to super-serve clients is a dream come true.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated early afternoon program “The Todd Starnes Show” has two new affiliates in the Sunflower State as Steckline Communications adds the 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET show to KQAM, Wichita and KIUL, Garden City, Kansas…..ESPN Radio announces that it is teaming former New York Giants star Chris Canty (left) and sports radio pro Chris Carlin (right) for the new 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET “Canty & Carlin” program, effective April 25. Canty says, “I’m fired up to work with Carlin. We were able to establish chemistry going back to our days working at 98.7 FM in New York. He’s a pro’s pro that puts in the work to be at his best and also bring out the best in others. We both take sports seriously, but we won’t take ourselves seriously. We’ll keep our audience informed, make them think and hopefully get a few laughs along the way.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that current WBBM-FM “B96” weekend personality Gabe Ramirez is beginning a dual role with Audacy Chicago. He’s now a regular fill-in host on sports talk WSCR “The Score.” He begins his work with the station hosting the evening show this week. Also, WSCR promotes Chris Tannehill to senior audio producer…..Federal Communications Commission chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt will participate in a fireside chat on the NAB Show on April 25 in Las Vegas. LeGeyt says, “In today’s hyper-competitive media landscape, a regulatory framework that allows local radio and television stations to evolve, adapt and better serve their audiences is of vital importance. Broadcasters look forward to hearing from chairwoman Rosenworcel about her role as the head of a critical agency and her outlook on the future of our industry.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Hunter Biden Investigation, January 6 Committee/Greene Challenge, Macron-Le Pen Race, COVID-19, and Elon Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s reaction to the war; the state of the U.S. economy, including high gas and food prices; the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the ongoing DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures; the January 6 committee’s investigation into the Capitol assault and a challenge to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s candidacy for re-election based on allegations she encouraged the January 6 attack; the race for France’s presidency between liberal Emmanuel Macron and conservative Marine Le Pen; concerns about a new wave of COVID in the U.S. as China continues harsh lockdowns; and Elon Musk declines to take a seat on Twitter’s board after acquiring a 9% stake in the company were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

| January 5, 2022

Sean Hannity Cooperation Sought by House Committee in January 6 Investigation. Texts between FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity and Donald Trump staffers before, during the January 6 Capitol attack, and after have been revealed as part of the House Committee’s investigation. Now, the House Select Committee is asking Hannity for his cooperation in its investigation. According to a report in The Hill, the Select Committee tells Hannity it is interested in communications between him and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others, as well as President Trump himself between December 31, 2020 and January 20, 2021. Citing a number of texts, the Committee says it appears Hannity had advance knowledge of Trump’s and his legal team’s plans for January 6. Hannity’s takes and suggestions indicate he was, at least to some degree, at odds with Trump’s beliefs about his January 6 strategy regarding the election certification. The Hill reports Hannity attorney Jay Sekulow says he’s not yet been informed of the Committee’s request but says it would raise “serious constitutional issues.” Regarding that matter, the Committee’s letter states, “The Select Committee has immense respect for the First Amendment to our Constitution, freedom of the press, and the rights of Americans to express their political opinions freely. For that reason, we do not intend to seek information from you regarding your broadcasts on radio or television, your public reporting or commentary, or your political views regarding any candidate for office.” TALKERS founder and First Amendment advocate Michael Harrison states, “In the talk media business, influence is every bit as important as ratings. Sean Hannity has consistently proven to be at the top of the pack in both measurements year after year. Obviously, not everyone agrees with his opinions – that is the nature of our business, not to mention the times. Free speech, politics and democracy are untidy affairs. The role Sean has played and continues to play in being a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the microphone is the quintessential example of just how far our format – talk radio – has come in shaping the history of this era. Fortunately, those of us who know Sean personally recognize him as a man of integrity. Although some refer to his texts as ‘damning,’ I am pleased that the ‘concerns’ he expressed to the White House a year ago put him on the right side of history when it comes down to the real nitty gritty. The rest is the real-world stuff of big-time commercial media positioning. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone when it comes to attacking those who have bravely built this medium to being a lot more than a platform for the low hanging fruit of mediocre music, disingenuous promotion codes and superficial chatter.”

Salem Radio Network Talk Host Larry Elder Won’t Run for California Governor This Year. According to numerous media reports, including one from KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder will not run for governor of California this fall. Elder ran as a Republican in last September’s recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom and of the dozens who qualified to be on the ballot was the Republican with the most votes. It was moot, however, as voters rejected the recall. Elder says he will form the Elder for America political action committee that will benefit Republicans in federal and local elections. In a statement, Elder says, “I ran for governor because I wanted to make a difference. While I may not know what the future holds for me politically, our campaign’s ability to attract millions of votes and millions of dollars in a very short time demonstrates we have a message that resonates with Americans, and I believe we can put that to good use.” The KNBC-TV story notes that Elder for America says Elder’s recall campaign raised about $22.5 million in eight weeks.

CES2022: “Pandemic Pivots.” The pandemic has accelerated trends “that have been simmering for a while and are now coming to a boil,” according to Consumer Technology Association research. 2022 tech spending is forecast to top a TRILLION dollars in the USA alone. And covering CES this week in Las Vegas, consultant Holland Cooke spots opportunities for radio sales. Read more here.

SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Named Contributor for FNC’s ‘Special Report with Brett Baier.’ Washington-based Salem Radio Network morning drive host Hugh Hewitt is named a regular contributor to FOX News Channel’s “Special Report with Brett Baier.” Hewitt was a longtime contributor on MSNBC and he currently writes a regular column for The Washington Post.

TALKERS News Notes. The sports talk radio show “Outkick 360” – hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky – recently entered national syndication via Skyview Networks. The company says that the show recently picked up new affiliate WMBH, Joplin, Missouri which joins the growing list of affiliate radio stations carrying the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET program…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces that it is now accepting entries for the 35th annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards, honoring outstanding community service efforts by radio stations throughout 2021. Winners will be recognized at the NAB Show, April 23–27, 2022 in Las Vegas. A panel of judges representing the broadcast industry and community service organizations will review applications and select 50 finalists and 10 winners. The deadline for submissions is January 31 and entry information can be found here…..Newsmax announces it is premiering its new documentary, “Day of Outrage,” tonight at 9:00 pm ET. Newsmax says the program “was produced by Newsmax to accurately and fairly detail the events related to the tragic day of January 6, 2021. The film includes powerful video footage of the protests and riots that took place on January 6, as well as a careful examination of events that led up to that fateful day.”…..ESPN Radio is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. The national sports talk radio platform launched in January of 1992. Senior coordinating producer, content strategy & audio Amanda Gifford says, “This is an incredibly meaningful milestone for our network. Sports radio has evolved in so many ways over the past 30 years and through it all, ESPN continues to be a leader in the space thanks to the dedication and passion of everyone involved behind the scenes and on-air.”…..The Motley Fool announces that its “Motley Fool Money” weekly flagship podcast is now airing new episodes seven days a week. Weekday episodes will focus on analyzing the companies making headlines, bringing a long-term perspective to daily market news, and putting new stock ideas on the audience’s radar. Weekend episodes will feature interviews with special guests and conversations about investing styles, strategies, and psychology. Show host and head of podcast strategy Chris Hill says, “More than ever people are focused on how to achieve financial independence, and we’re excited to provide programming that’s relevant to everyone on the investing spectrum. Gen Xers are thinking about how to retire, Millennials are entering their 40s, and more members of Gen Z are starting to invest every month. Motley Fool Money is going to be a resource for all of them, seven days a week.”…..Baltimore public radio news/talk outlet WYPR-FM “Your Public Radio” is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The station says it will celebrate its platinum anniversary with a variety of in-person and virtual events, special on-air programming, fundraising campaigns and a host of unique activities for listeners all year long. Station president and general manager LaFontaine E. Oliver says, “Our community of members and listeners is the reason that we are so successful. We have one of the best performing sustaining programs in the country with almost 70% of our members giving monthly donations. Their support has allowed the station to grow to the point where we are more than terrestrial radio – our content now reaches audiences on-air, online, on-demand, on mobile and in the community.”

COVID-19, January 6 Investigation/Trump Presser, Filibuster-Voting Rights Battle, 2022 Midterm Elections, Prince Andrew Civil Suit, and Southeastern Snow Storm Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The soaring rate of Omicron variant cases in the U.S., the heated debate over in-school learning, and the scramble for COVID tests; the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack, the release of texts between Trump staffers and the media, and Donald Trump cancels Thursday’s press conference; the battle in the U.S. Senate over voting rights legislation and the filibuster; the potential change in power in Congress after the 2022 midterm elections; Prince Andrew fights the civil suit filed against him by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre; and the stranding of hundreds of vehicles on I-95 in Virginia after the Southeastern snow storm were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

| December 14, 2021

Good Karma Brands to Acquire ESPN Stations in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The three sports talk radio stations owned by Disney/ESPN are being acquired by Good Karma Brands, LLC under a deal that is expected to close during the first quarter of 2022. The stations are WEPN-AM, New York; KSPN-AM, Los Angeles; and WMVP-AM, Chicago. The deal will also have Good Karma Brands perform ESPN’s obligations under the current Local Marketing Agreement for WEPN-FM, New York “98.7 ESPN.” As part of a long-term affiliation agreement, all three stations will remain as ESPN Radio affiliates and continue broadcasting ESPN Network Radio content as well as locally produced programming. There is no price revealed in the press release from GKB. The company has been operating WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” under an LMA since October 2019. Good Karma founder and CEO Craig Karmazin says, “We are thrilled to add ESPN New York and ESPN Los Angeles to GKB. These stations and teammates give us an expanded footprint and increased resources to help meet our mission of serving our teammates, fans and advertising partners at a best-in-class level.” ESPN Audio vice president Scott McCarthy comments, “At ESPN, we are focused on evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our business, providing the outstanding content that our fans expect, and growing our audience in critical, leading markets. We have a strong, 20-plus year relationship with Good Karma Brands and know they will further contribute to the success of these great local audio operations.” In addition, the companies have agreed to extend their ESPN Digital sales agreement, which began in 2015, in which GKB represents display and video inventory on ESPN.com and the ESPN App to local and regional advertisers in 14 select markets.

Porth Joins WSCR, Chicago as Assistant Brand Manager. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Ryan Porth is leaving his program director position at Cromwell Media’s sports talk WPRT, Nashville “102.5 The Game” to joins Audacy’s sports talk WSCR-AM, Chicago “The Score” as assistant brand manager, effective January 3. WSCR operations director and brand manager Mitch Rosen is quoted saying, “He will assist us in multiple facets — from organization, digital ideation and assisting all of us moving ‘The Score’ brand forward into the future.” Porth has served as PD of WPRT since 2016 and also served as executive producer for the Nashville Predators Radio Network.

Bonilla Rises to PD at KXNT, Las Vegas. TALKERS magazine hears that Audacy has promoted Mark Bonilla from his assistant program director position at news/talk KXNT-AM, Las Vegas to program director for the station. He assumes the role previously held by Paul Ihander.

Audacy and Voicify Partner for Voice Capabilities Across Digital Platform. A new multiyear partnership is struck between Audacy and Voicify, a company described in a press release as “the market leader in conversation experience management software that combines voice optimized content management, cross-platform deployment, and voice-specific customer insights.” As part of this deal, Audacy will leverage Voicify’s services to drive interactive voice capabilities across the Audacy platform and make station-branded skills more easily accessible for listeners via any voice assistant-enabled device. Audacy will also license Voicify’s patented platform – The Voicify Conversation Experience Platform – to create and deliver innovative, interactive voice ads and voice commerce experiences through digital audio content for advertisers. The Voicify Conversation Experience Platform enables marketers to connect with their customers by creating highly engaging and personalized voice experiences that are automatically deployed to a broad array of voice platforms, including smart speakers. Audacy chief digital officer J.D. Crowley comments, “As we continue to expand and enhance the Audacy direct-to-consumer platform, adding new interactive voice capabilities and enabling voice commerce experiences across a wide range of devices is an important area of future growth, especially in an age where flexibility and speed to market are a must have for our advertising partners. We are excited to partner with Voicify to provide next generation interactive advertising solutions to our clients to help make their advertising more actionable.”

Former WLS-AM, Chicago Talk Host Stephanie Trussell to Run for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. Former weekend talk host Stephanie Trussell is joining Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey on the Republican ticket for lieutenant governor and governor, respectively. Trussell had hosted the Saturday afternoon program on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago after winning the station’s “Next Talk Star” contest in 2012. She left the weekend gig in 2019 but continued to host a podcast for the station for a period.

Newsmax Names Duchardt Congressional Correspondent. Journalist Kilmeny Duchardt is joining Newsmax as congressional correspondent. A press release says that Kilmeny brings more than 15 years of media experience with the Associated Press, Reuters and most recently as an anchor with Turkish TV’s TRT World. Duchardt has spent the last three years anchoring “Turkish TV’s TRT World” U.S. primetime news bulletins out of Washington, covering the U.S. election, Congress, the White House and other major global news events. Newsmax news director Chris Wallace states, “Kilmeny is a well-regarded journalist known for getting the story right. She will be a great addition to our growing team.” Duchardt comments, “Trust isn’t given, it’s earned. I take great pride in earning the trust of my viewers. I look forward to gaining the respect of our diverse audience at Newsmax and being a source they can count on.”

TALKERS News Notes. Digital and tech services provider Triton Digital announces it is expanding its Podcast Reports to Canada. Triton says the Canadian Podcast Report will provide insight into the Top Podcasts and Networks in Canada each month, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service. The inaugural Canadian Podcast report will be issued in late Q1 2022. Triton president of market development John Rosso states, “As podcast listening in Canada continues to rise, advertisers need reliable measurement to better understand the performance of on-demand and podcast content. Expanding our Podcast Reports to the Canadian market, where we already have a strong presence, highlights our commitment to eliminate inconsistent measurement practices and self-reported data, providing content marketers, media buyers, and the audio industry at large with access to validated and transparent podcast metrics in the Canadian market for the first time.”.….New Hampshire Public Radio promotes staffer Rebecca Lavoie to director of on-demand audio. Lavoie joined NHPR in 2010 to produce the daily magazine program “Word of Mouth” and most recently served as director of audience & engagement. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “Rebecca has nurtured an explosion of excellent journalism and inspired creativity throughout NHPR. Her keen editorial ear is evident in all the material produced under her leadership. Her deep roots in the community and knowledge of the podcast industry make her an essential contributor to our senior management team.”…..Audacy announces that its Richmond stations – including news/talk WRVA – raised more than $670,000 to benefit Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU during the annual “36-Hours for Kids Radiothon.”…..The syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show hosted by Chris Hill is added to the weekend lineup on Bennett Radio Group’s news/talk duo “The Patriot” in WEZR-AM, Rumford and WPNO-AM, South Paris, Maine…..Pictured below is “Florida Man Radio” (WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach) personality Shannon Burke (left) with Key Networks syndicated radio star Bill O’Reilly (right) backstage at the Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday (12/12). Burke attended the “History Tour” event with O’Reilly and former President Donald Trump – a series of live conversations between Trump and O’Reilly about the four-year Trump administration.

FOX News Radio’s Jimmy Failla to Be Part of FNC’s New Year’s Eve Programming. This New Year’s Eve, FOX News Channel is presenting special programming from 10:00 pm to 1:30 am ET featuring “FOX & Friends Weekend” co-hosts Pete Hegseth, Rachel Campos-Duffy and Will Cain live from the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Joining the trio in the holiday programming will be Jimmy Failla, host of FOX News Radio’s “FOX Across America” midday show, who will perform stand-up comedy from the Wildhorse Saloon. Also involved in the programming will be FOX Nation’s Lawrence Jones, “Outnumbered” co-host Emily Compagno and FOX News correspondent Griff Jenkins from Times Square, FOX News contributor Raymond Arroyo and FOX Nation host Abby Hornacek in New Orleans, and FOX News Congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie from Folly Beach in Charleston, South Carolina and FOX Business correspondent Madison Alworth from Tampa Bay, Florida.

COVID-19, Economy/Supply Chain/Inflation, Software Vulnerability, Build Back Better, January 6 Investigation, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, and Tornadoes Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13). The rate of COVID-19 cases around the world, the Omicron variant, Pfizer’s pill, and mandates; the state of the U.S. economy, the ongoing supply chain woes, and high consumer prices; criticism of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack, Mark Meadows’ refusal to cooperate with the House committee, and new email revelations; the G7 nations’ warning to Russia about military action in Ukraine; and the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes in Kentucky and Illinois were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

| November 18, 2021

KHTK Ropes In Cattles As PD. Three-year WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” afternoon drive personality Nick Cattles is leaving the Max Media Norfolk sports station to join Bonneville Sacramento’s similarly-formatted KHTK “Sports 1140” as program director. In addition to his PD duties which begin next month (12/13), Cattles will host KHTK’s PM drive show. Bonneville Sacramento senior vice president/market manager Steve Cottingim remarks, “Now that we have extended our relationship with the [NBA’s] Sacramento Kings, we couldn’t be more excited to add someone to the KHTK team who has the passion and experience that Nick does.” Bonneville Sacramento group director of programming Chad Rufer notes, “The sports programming team at Bonneville International has had our eye on Nick for a while. We couldn’t be more excited that he will be joining our team in Sacramento to lead KHTK.” Cattles adds, “I couldn’t be happier or more excited to join a brand with such a rich tradition. I look forward to this challenge and doing whatever I can to make sure KHTK remains the king of sports talk in Sacramento.” He succeeds Jason Ross, who remains with the station. Cattles’ final show on WVSP will be next Wednesday (11/24).

Radio Mercury Awards Winners Announced. Those scoring top honors in the 30th anniversary Radio Mercury Awards were disclosed last night (Wednesday, 11/17) in a Radio Advertising Bureau-produced virtual ceremony. BBDO Atlanta chief judge/chief creative officer Robin Fitzgerald comments, “This year, it took us two days to fully deliberate, as this year’s winners really impressed the jury with their overall approach to messaging and storytelling. The winning work shone through, made us laugh, feel inspired and even made us a little hungry for soup dumplings.” RAB president/chief executive officer/Radio Creative Fund chair Erica Farber notes, “The 30th anniversary awards presentation once again reflected the power of radio creative and its ability to grow brands and deliver for advertisers. The Radio Mercury Awards continue to advance the medium forward by showcasing innovative, creative and effective radio and audio commercial work.” The following is the list of winning spots. Creative Radio Campaign, Agency/Production Company/Advertiser/Radio Station or Group: “Barbershop Quartet,” Progressive Insurance, Arnold Worldwide; Motel 6 “2020 Radio Campaign,” Motel 6, The Richards Group. Creative Radio Spot for a Cause, Agency/Production Company/Advertiser: “How to Play Soccer,” The Aspen Institute’s Project Play, Arnold Worldwide. Creative Radio Spot, Agency/Production Company/Advertiser: Snickers “Commercial Free,” Mars Chocolate North America, BBDO New York; “Car Dealership,” Postmates, Mother LA. Creative Radio Spot, Insightful Voice: “Meemaw,” Motel 6, Barkley. Creative Radio Spot, Radio Station or Group: “Disco Colonoscopy,” Kansas Medical Clinic, Alpha Media; “Ballwash.Com Valentine’s Day 2020,” Ballsy, Cumulus Media Atlanta. Creative Spot for a Cause, Radio Station or Group: “Black Voices of Humboldt County #2,” In-House PSA, Lost Coast Communications. Creative Use of Non-broadcast Audio: “Bedtime Stories,” Walmart, FCB Chicago; “Radio Recliner,” Bridge Senior Living, Luckie. Creative Use of Songs/Music (Original or Repurposed): “Chinchilla,” Absolute Roofing, The Studio at iHeartMedia. Integrated Brand Campaign with Radio/Audio: “When All You Can Food Is Think About,” Postmates, Mother LA. Purpose-Driven Spot or Campaign, Agency/Production Company/Advertiser/Radio Station or Group: “Bingo Recovery,” Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance, Preston Spire. Radio Station or Group Promotional Spot or Campaign: “Black Excellence,” In-House Campaign, iHeartMedia. It was announced during the awards that Campbell Ewald Detroit/New York executive creative director Alejandro Ortiz will be chief judge for the 2022 Radio Mercury Awards.

Katz Media Group Adds Another $45,000 For BFA. During its eleventh annual company-wide membership drive, Katz Media Group has raised $45,000 for The Broadcasters Foundation of America, bringing the total amount to nearly $400,000 since the drive’s inception. All money garnered during Katz’s annual two-week campaign goes toward the Stu Olds Memorial Fund that commemorates Katz’s former chief executive officer and supports the Foundation’s mission to provide support to broadcast professionals in dire need. Katz Media Group chief executive officer Mark Gray comments, “As a longstanding board member, I have seen first-hand how the money raised helps broadcasters in need. I’m incredibly proud of the continued generosity of the Katz team to continue this tradition to honor Stu’s legacy and give back to our industry.” Broadcasters Foundation of America co-president Jim Thompson states, “We are grateful to the entire team at Katz for their continued support of our charitable cause. Our purpose at the Foundation is to provide aid to those in our industry who need it most, whether it be monthly assistance from life-altering circumstances or a one-time emergency grant to help victims of natural disasters. With the help from our friends and colleagues at Katz, we can help more broadcasters in need across the country.” For over 70 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has provided aid ranging from medical care to financial assistance to broadcasters and their families across the United States. This year, the Foundation will give away more than $1.8 million in monthly and emergency grants, including victims of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires.

WGN To Team Dent And Bertrand In PM Drive. Effective 1/3 (2022), Nexstar Chicago news/talk WGN will elevate part-timer Lisa Dent to afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) where she will team with Steve Bertrand. Anna Davlantes segues from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm duty to investigative correspondent. WGN Radio vice president/general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle remarks, “Lisa Dent has long been a significant and well-known presence in Chicago radio. Her vibrant personality and warmth, understanding of the city and an ability to authentically connect on a personal level with listeners makes her a natural fit for afternoon drive on WGN as we embark on our 100th  year of being the voice of Chicagoland. Anna Davlantes’ impeccable resume includes decades of award-winning investigative reporting. Few rival Anna’s commitment to serving the public in anticipating, exposing, and breaking important stories. We are fortunate to have her expertise at WGN Radio.” A fill-in host on WGN since January, Rockford (Illinois) native Dent began her radio career in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin in 1981. She has worked in Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, and San Diego before returning to Chicago in 2002. A 2016 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Dent previously hosted at Chicago country outlets (Audacy-owned) WUSN “US-99” and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 99.5.” Beginning January 3, WGN’s revised lineup will include: WGN-TV simulcast (4:00 am – 6:00 am); Bob Sirrott (6:00 am – 10:00 am); John Williams (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); “Chicago’s Afternoon News with Lisa Dent and Steve Bertrand” (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “WGN Radio’s Money Matters” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, airing early-2022); and John Landecker (7:00 pm -10:00 pm).

VICE World News Seeks Archival Conservative News/Talk Radio Airchecks for Forthcoming Documentary. The TV arm of VICE World News is producing a four-part documentary series on the history of talk radio, from the 1980s through present day. This series utilizes a combination of original footage with archival materials. The production is currently seeking archival recordings of conservative talk radio programs, particularly from 1989 – 1995, including material that is on tape and not digitized. If you have any archival audio recordings that meet this description, please contact archival producer Elijah Stevens at elijah.stevens@vice.com.

COVID-19, Inflation/Supply Chain, January 6 Investigation, Infrastructure Bill, Ahmaud Arbery Case and Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/17). According to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine, some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (11/17) included: The increased rate of COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country, boosters, and mask & vaccine mandates; soaring retail and fuel prices and the supply chain slowdown; the House investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol; President Biden signing his $1.2 trillion Infrastructure package into law; the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial taking place in Georgia; and the jury deliberates in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Links With iHM For Weekly Podcast. The 15-minute/52-episode “Amazing Wildlife” podcast series will post each Friday, beginning tomorrow (11/19). Highlights include unique wildlife stories from around the world, as well as conservation efforts happening on site at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. iHeartPodcast Network chief operating officer Will Pearson remarks, “With ‘Amazing Wildlife,’ we are excited to expand iHeart’s educational and entertaining podcast offerings for families and kids of all ages. We have so much to learn around wildlife and conservation efforts, especially when it comes to how we can all be helpful in ways big and small. We’re excited to work alongside the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance to continue to provide these educational resources.” San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA) chief marketing officer David Miller states, “San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has been doing amazing conservation work for decades, and this podcast is the latest opportunity for us to share the impact this organization has had on conserving wildlife and wild spaces. The family-friendly nature of the show is yet another way we’re working to inspire the next generation of conservationists.” Co-hosting the podcast are wildlife care specialist/San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance ambassador Rick Schwartz and SDZWA senior editor Ebone Monet. According to Schwartz, “We’re fortunate to work with iHeartMedia on this podcast. My hope is to inspire younger generations to be active in conservation efforts. I’m honored to be hosting the podcast alongside Ebone Monet and to share my passion for what I’ve learned throughout my years working at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.” The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is an international nonprofit conservation organization that oversees the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Three Board Members Added To NAB Leadership Foundation. Among those elected to the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation are Black Information Network president/iHeartMedia Division president of metro markets Tony Coles. Joining Coles are Cox Media Group executive vice president Paul J. Curran Jr. and Allen Media Group executive vice president of global human resources Melody Smalls. NAB Leadership Foundation chair/Bonneville International KSL Broadcast Group president Darrell Brown comments, “We are grateful for our board’s guidance as we work to develop leaders, advance diversity, and highlight the community service initiatives of our industry.” NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke notes, “We want to thank the new members for their willingness to serve and look forward to their insights as we continue to expand our programs and prepare the next generation of industry leaders.” Coles joined iHeartMedia in 2004 and has held various on-air, programming and management positions. Most recently, he was executive vice president/programming for the company’s west region. Prior to his current position, Curran served as Cox Media Group’s market vice president for Orlando, which included WDBO-AM “Orlando’s News Talk;” country WWKA “K-92.3”; classic rock WMMO; urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5”; rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3”; and Spanish contemporary WOEX “Solo Exitos.” Smalls oversees global human resources strategy for all Allen Media Group divisions, including Allen Media Broadcasting, Entertainment Studios Networks, Local Now and The Weather Channel. She previously worked as The Weather Channel’s chief human resources and compliance officer.

TALKERS News Notes. In a special edition of ABC Audio’s “Start Here” podcast (today, 11/18), host Brad Mielke interviews former U.S. Attorney John Brownlee along with Danny Strong, the creator of Hulu’s “Dopesick,” about the explosion of OxyContin that resulted in millions of addicted Americans … College basketball analyst Greg “Hoops” Peterson hosts iHeart Podcast Network’s “Coast To Coast Hoops,” a daily show offering betting analysis on top ten teams and other games … A commercial-free version of ESPN Radio has been added to TuneIn Premium. This partnership adds to TuneIn’s premium lineup of commercial-free stations which includes MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News Radio. TuneIn chief executive officer Richard Stern notes, “Millions of people around the world trust ESPN to provide them with the latest and greatest in sports coverage and commentary. TuneIn is committed to meeting our listeners’ demand for timely and uninterrupted sports talk. As longtime partners with ESPN, we are incredibly excited to bring ESPN Radio commercial-free to TuneIn Premium, and give our listeners even more sports to consume.” Current TuneIn Premium subscribers can access commercial-free ESPN Radio immediately. Access to the existing ad-supported ESPN Radio remains available to non-subscribers … The Big 12 Conference has banned Texas Tech football radio play-by-play voice Brian Jensen and analyst John Harris from calling this Saturday’s game (11/20) against Oklahoma State for criticizing officials and the conference commissioner during last Saturday’s victory against Iowa State. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby notes, “I understand the roles of the play-by-play [announcer] and color analyst. However, as University representatives, they have an obligation to adhere to Conference policy regarding comments about game officials. Comments by the Red Raider Radio Network booth announcers were contrary to expected levels of respect and professionalism. Questioning the integrity of Conference officials is well beyond appropriate and permissible behavior.” Jensen and Harris suggested that one official acted as though he had sustained a concussion and that the officials did not want Iowa State to lose.

Futuri Debuts TopicPulse SportsEdge. According to Futuri chief executive officer Daniel Anstandig, “Sports betting advertising is one of the fastest-growing revenue streams for broadcasters.” He claims the eSports market is “predicted to grow to $3 billion by 2023.” With that in mind, Futuri introduces TopicPulse SportsEdge, a version of its real-time, AI-powered story discovery and social content system customized for eSports, betting, VR and fantasy content. The service provides 24/7 access to insights on sports-related stories and hot topics, as well as what’s losing traction. Anstandig comments, “Given the explosive growth of this space, TopicPulse SportsEdge is right in line with Futuri’s mission to help media companies grow their content, grow their audience, and grow their revenue.” TopicPulse SportsEdge’s “IdeaStarters” delivers pre-written copy points on the day’s top stories for use in blogs, social posts and on-air copy.