WTOP, Washington’s Joel Oxley Testifies on Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. At a Senate subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC on Wednesday (2/2), numerous media executives provided testimony as the subcommittee considers the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act that “creates a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws for print, broadcast, or digital news companies to collectively negotiate with online content distributors (e.g., social media companies) regarding the terms on which the news companies’ content may be distributed by online content distributors.” Joel Oxley, general manager of Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington, DC testified on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters. He said, “Quality journalism delivered through our uniquely free service has only been made possible over many decades through advertising revenues. As you all are aware, these revenues have experienced a free-fall in recent years, due almost exclusively to the rapid, often anticompetitive, expansion of the dominant online platforms who have upended the advertising marketplace. The market power of the tech platforms undermines the online advertising model for local broadcast journalism in two important ways. First, the tech platforms’ role as content gatekeepers stifles our ability to generate user traffic. Second, anticompetitive terms of service and a ‘take it or leave it’ approach leave local broadcasters with a below-market sliver of those advertising revenues derived through their products. For local broadcasters and our viewers and listeners who rely on quality journalism, this is a real catch-22: To attract online user traffic, we must be accessible through the major platforms, yet the terms of access dictated by the online platforms devalue our product. For example, not only is WTOP not being compensated by Facebook and Google for its content, WTOP is actually paying to make sure its content is being accessed on their platforms.” He added, “The dominant online platforms have flourished, siphoning off huge amounts of advertising revenues that are the lifeblood of free, local journalism. Consider the big storm that just blew through the Northeast over the weekend – a nor’easter and blizzard conditions. Tons of work at a lot of cost and time for local broadcasters to cover it for millions of people. But not for Facebook, Google and the like. They simply take our coverage and profit from it, and virtually nothing comes back to us. But without local news, my guess is a lot of people would have not evacuated places like Cape Cod last weekend, and lives would have been risked. We just can’t have that.” You can read his complete testimony here.
Erick Erickson Show Adds New Affiliates; Reports Ratings Growth. Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Erick Erickson announces the addition of two new affiliate stations as Audacy’s KXNT, Las Vegas and Willamette Broadcasting’s KYKN, Salem, Oregon add the show to their program schedules. The show says, “In every Nielsen PPM market carrying his show, either live or delayed, Erickson is generating higher ratings than the show he replaced, including Rush Limbaugh’s show in Atlanta, Georgia on Erickson’s flagship station, WSB Radio. Erickson is also seeing robust digital growth. From June to December 2021, Erickson’s live-streaming audience increased 339% and his podcast audience grew 188%.”
Terry Foxx Named to Programming Role at Public Outlet KUT, Austin. Radio programming pro Terry Foxx is joining public radio station KUT, Austin as director of programming and audience. The organization says Foxx will oversee KUT 90.5’s on-air programming and KUT and KUTX Studios’ podcast strategy. He will collaborate with the KUT newsroom and sister station KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, on developing audience-centered engagement strategies and expanding KUT’s reach. Foxx has most recently been serving as brand manager for Radio One’s sports talk WFNZ-AM, Charlotte and sister AC WLNK-FM. KUT and KUTX general manager Debbie Hiott comments, “Terry has deep knowledge and experience when it comes to identifying and expanding audiences. He grew up in Texas, has always had family in Austin, and understands how KUT can serve our community. With those things he will help us develop and provide programming that reaches into new areas important to Central Texas.” Foxx says, “KUT has a rich heritage and is part of the fabric of Central Texas. I look forward to joining the strong team at KUT and engaging new listeners in creative ways.”
BIN: Black Information Network Names Andrea Coleman News Director; Ramses Ja to Host New Daily Podcast. News pro Andrea Coleman is promoted from news anchor to news director for iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network. In this new role, Coleman will be responsible for leading day-to-day newsroom operations, reporter and anchor development, and coordinating live news and specialty programming. She’ll be based in Atlanta, reporting to Tanita Myers, VP/news operations for the Black Information Network. Coleman joined iHeartMedia as an anchor/reporter for the Black Information Network in the summer of 2020. She says, “I welcome the opportunity to serve as news director of the Black Information Network and to continue to be a part of the dynamic team of Black professionals who have made the Network a relevant, trusted source of news and information for our community. We look forward to keeping our listeners informed and educated on all matters important to the Black experience.” BIN: Black Information Network also announces that media personality Ramses Ja is joining the Network as the host of the new daily podcast, “Our Daily Story with Ramses Ja.” The program will feature Black journalists from across America telling the most meaningful stories of the day, from their perspective. The daily talk show-style podcast will premiere later this month, with new episodes launching every weekday morning. Ja says, “I’m excited to be partnering with BIN: Black Information Network. This partnership helps show the company’s commitment to helping create a more equitable experience for Black people in this country, and the other projects we have in the works are also sure to continue that trend.” BIN: Black Information Network president Tony Coles comments, “As BIN: Black Information Network continues to grow, I am thrilled to have Ramses Ja and Andrea Coleman as part of our team. They are incredibly talented, with proven track records, and dedication to delivering significant and trusted news coverage to the Black community. I know they will contribute to the network’s mission and ongoing success.”
Newsmax Claims Big Ratings for Trump Rally Coverage. Citing Nielsen data from last weekend, Newsmax says it was the big ratings winner with its exclusive cable coverage of former President Donald Trump’s rally in Texas. Newsmax reports “some 2.9 million cable viewers tuned in to watch the event live from Conroe — and 1.1 million of them were adults ages 35-64, the demographic craved by advertisers… though Newsmax is carried in 20 million fewer homes than FOX, total audience impressions for both networks during Trump’s speech was almost at parity, both drawing around 1.4 million viewers per minute, according to Nielsen.” Newsmax points to a piece in Business Insider that said, “Newsmax’s audience skyrockets during Trump rallies that other networks, including FOX News, ignore.’” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “We can’t speak to FOX News’ decisions, but we believe this rally was a significant news event that was worthy of coverage.”
TALKERS News Notes. Former WIBC, Indianapolis talk host Greg Garrison has filed papers to run for prosecutor of Hamilton County, Indiana. According to the Indianapolis Star, the 74-year-old Garrison will face off against three-term Republican prosecutor D. Lee Buckinham in the primary. Garrison, who also had a long career as a personal injury lawyer, retired from his radio program in 2017. He was part of the prosecution team that helped convict boxer Mike Tyson of rape charges in 1992…..Reporter Mara Hoplamazian is named New Hampshire Public Radio’s energy and environment reporter, a role in which they will anchor NHPR’s “By Degrees” climate reporting initiative. NHPR news director Dan Barrick says, “Awareness and dialogue are the best tools we have to fight climate change. The work of journalists such as Mara are crucial not simply to inform but to create awareness of what is at risk, and what we can do together.” Hoplamazian came to NHPR as the Barbara and Dick Couch Fellow. Before joining NHPR, Hoplamazian worked as an investigative reporting intern at The Sacramento Bee and a media intern at the Smithsonian Institution.
Trump & the GOP/Midterm Elections, January 6 Investigation, Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Spotify’s Joe Rogan Controversy, Whoopi Goldberg Suspension, Financial Markets/Economy, CNN’s Zucker Resigns, Beijing Olympics, Winter Weather, and Washington Football Team Reveals New Name Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/2). Former President Donald Trump’s influence within the GOP and November’s midterm elections; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and mask & vaccine mandates; the controversy over artists pulling their music from Spotify because of the conspiratorial tone of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast; ABC is slammed for suspending Whoopi Goldberg over her holocaust comments; the world’s financial markets and concerns about the COVID-hampered U.S. economy; Jeff Zucker resigns from CNN after failing to acknowledge his romantic relationship with an employee; the political aspects of the Beijing Winter Olympics; severe winter weather affecting much of the U.S.; and reactions to the NFL’s Washington franchise revealing its new Commanders moniker were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Holland Cooke
After clicking “Events,” click “Birthdays.”
As you scroll down past “Recent Birthdays” (oops) and “Upcoming Birthdays,” you’ll find month-by-month boxes of all your Friends’ birthdays.
Having systematically invited listeners to your show or podcast to Friend you, you’re now able to send regards. With most broadcast hours now robotic — and because podcasting is such an intimate medium — your personable well-wishes will be well-received.
Holland Cooke is author of the E-book “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here; and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available exclusively from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). HC is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke
Anti-Vaxxer Bernier Loses Three-Week COVID Fight. This time last week, we reported news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville afternoon drive personality Phil Valentine’s COVID-19-related death. Now, another conservative radio host who publicly spoke out against COVID-19 vaccines has died from the coronavirus: Marc Bernier, 65, passed away Saturday (8/28) after a nearly month-long battle against the virus. A Daytona Beach market fixture for more than three decades, the Rhode Island native who characterized himself as “Mr. Anti-Vax” did a morning commentary; a three-hour afternoon program; weekend shows; and specials for Southern Stone Communications news/talk WNDB “AM 1150 & FM 93.5.” The station released news of Bernier’s death on its Twitter account by stating, “It is with great sadness that [we] announce the passing of Marc Bernier, who informed and entertained listeners on WNDB for over 30 years.” After being off-the-air for a week, Bernier entered the hospital on August 7. In an article published in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Mark Harper points out that Bernier, “interviewed countless governors, senators, mayors, sheriffs, journalists, historians and authors. He also was an outspoken opponent of vaccinations.” Sports Network International vice president Justin Gates co-hosted “Weekend Around the House” with Bernier and was the best man at Bernier’s wedding. Gates was quoted as saying that Bernier gave “all sides” and wouldn’t “bully, throw punches, do potshots, or anything for ratings – that’s why he [was] so popular.” A guest on Bernier’s WNDB radio show the past 15 years, Volusia County sheriff Mike Chitwood comments, “I’m numb – this is a death in the family to me. You don’t have to agree with everything a person says for them to be your friend – I don’t think a lot of people get that. [Our] off-the-air banter was priceless. A great stress reliever for me was the things we would talk about, laugh about, and the jokes we would exchange. More than anything, I will miss how funny he could be, and how we’d try to one-up each other with funny anecdotal stories.” Florida-based CBS News Radio correspondent Peter King’s first radio news job was at WNDB and included anchoring on Bernier’s afternoon show. On his Facebook page, King writes, “I enjoyed working with him and we remained in touch for a while after that. Marc was the proverbial big fish in a small pond, becoming an integral and influential force in the community and really turning himself into a cottage industry that allowed him a wonderful quality of life in Daytona Beach. Whether you agreed with his points or not, he was always interesting; engaging; well-informed; involved; and a fine broadcaster. There was always room for more than just his opinion. I’m pretty sure that he helped make a lot of money for his radio station during his 30 years there. I was saddened to read reports that he was very publicly anti-vaccine on-air and was hospitalized with COVID; I’m even more saddened by his death.” After Bernier was hospitalized, WNDB operations director Mark McKinney was uncertain if the talk host was vaccinated. According to progressive news website/online tabloid Raw Story, McKinney remarked, “If you’ve listened to his show, you’ve heard him talk about how anti-vaccine he is on the air.” In his final tweet published on July 30, Bernier wrote that the United States government was “acting like Nazis because officials were urging people to get vaccinated.” WNDB emphasizes on Twitter, “We kindly ask that privacy is given to Marc’s family during this time of grief.”
Monday Memo: Which of These 7 Mistakes Are You Making On-Air? Validating the consultant caricature, Holland Cooke ticks-off what ticks-off listeners. Most of these are not intentional on the part of the talk host but they can signal a host who is not completely prepared, doesn’t hear things through the ears of the listener, or has acquired a bunch of bad habits, probably due to a lack of coaching. Read his column here.
Pending Business: Checking In. You’ve noticed how so many retailers “check-in” with you after your purchase – usually via email or text – to make sure you’re happy. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about sales managers checking in with sales leads to make sure they are being served by the sales rep. He says this is not about micro-managing and most managers trust most of their reps, but there are several reasons the “Check-In” plays an important role in the sales process. Read his column here.
Dawn Stensland to Host Late Mornings at WPHT, Philadelphia. WPHT morning drive co-host Dawn Stensland is getting her own two-hour radio talk show from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon beginning September 7. She is currently co-anchor of the Audacy station’s morning drive “Rich Zeoli Show” and will continue in that role. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We’re excited to grow Dawn’s role with the station with the launch of her new midday show, where she will speak with top local newsmakers for in-depth analysis of stories that affect the Philadelphia region. Dawn’s show, along with an extra hour of Rich Zeoli, and Dom Giordano’s new program time extends our local content to nine hours, which allows us to best serve our local listeners, while continuing to deliver some of the biggest names on the national stage.” Stensland says, “I’m grateful to Rich Zeoli and his ‘army’ of loyal listeners for believing in me since I joined the show six years ago. I am so proud to work with Audacy and I’m also so thankful for their commitment to showcase a diverse collection of local voices as we engage with people across our region about the issues of the day and the news that impacts us here at home.”
KMVP-FM, Phoenix Makes AM Drive Change; Replaces ‘Doug and Wolf’ with ‘Bickley and Marotta.’ A series of programming changes at Bonneville’s Phoenix sports talk outlet KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” has the midday team of Dan Bickley (left) and Vince Marotta (right) moving to morning drive, taking over for the current morning show hosted by Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, effective September 7. Wolfley moves to middays with a new show (in addition to his current role as Arizona Cardinals radio broadcast analyst) joined by Luke Lapinski for “The Wolf and Luke Show.” Doug Franz remains with the station as he transitions to digital contributor on ArizonaSports.com. Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “I cannot say thank you enough to both Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, who along with being great broadcasters, are both first-class people that have made tremendous contributions to the Arizona Sports brand and our community. Vice president of programming Ryan Hatch adds, “Doug and Wolf had the longest, most successful run in Valley sports radio history, and we are so appreciative of all of their great efforts over the years. But now is the time to bring a new energy to mornings with an ensemble cast that will jumpstart each day with strong opinions and plenty of laughs.” Bickley and Marotta state, “We are so pumped up to start the Valley sports conversation every morning on one of the biggest sports brands in the country. This is going to be a blast.”
WEEI/NESN Radio-Telethon Raises More than $3.8 million to Fight Cancer. The 19th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” raised more than $3.8 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Audacy sports talk outlet has been partnering with New England Sports Network to present the event since 2003 and since WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002 has raised more than $62 million for the cause. The 36-hour live broadcast took place on August 24 and 25. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Tim Clarke states, “We’re completely inspired to see the New England community from so many different walks of life come together to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s selfless mission. The annual ‘Jimmy Fund’ event is synonymous with this region and, in a year where we’ve faced adversity unlike any other, being able to unite with our audience to help strike out cancer is a true testament to our resiliency.”
TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate station WRVA, Richmond, Virginia in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. With this addition, the Starnes Media Group program is now heard on more than 110 affiliate stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR-AM, Chicago “The Score” and WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “The Fan” brand manager Mitch Rosen is also adding the title director of operations for BetQL Network, which is providing sports betting programming to Audacy’s sports talk stations. Audacy VP of sports Matt Volk says, “Mitch Rosen has been at the forefront of all the planning, operations and execution of this seamless expansion. He has been a trusted leader and point of contact for so many important BetQL Network initiatives. We are thrilled with Mitch’s daily dedication to all of his stations, its people and Audacy.”…..Radio programmer and consultant Mike McVay is being inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame on October 16. The ceremony will take place at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington, West Virginia. McVay began his radio career at WEIF, Moundsville in 1974. He also served with WNEU, Wheeling and WCHS, Charleston…..PodcastOne announces the launch of Doug Ellin’s “Hollywood Wayz” weekly podcast and vodcast with co-host, rapper and actress BRE-Z. “Hollywood Wayz” debuts September 9. The vodcast is available on LiveXLive and YouTube. The production includes a partnership with actor and director Kevin Connolly’s Action Park Media, where the show will be recorded weekly.
Afghanistan Pullout, COVID-19, Hurricane Ida Hits Louisiana, Global Supply Chain Troubles, North Korea Re-Starts Nuclear Program, Gavin Newsom Recall, Talk Host Marc Bernier Dies from COVID-19, and Ed Asner Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The U.S.’s deadly exit from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden’s meeting the return of the slain military personnel at Dover, and the Taliban’s terrorist strategies; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the battles over mask and vaccine mandates; Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana leaving New Orleans without power; the effect COVID-19 is having on global supply chains; U.S. intelligence indicates North Korea is again producing plutonium; California Governor Gavin Newsom is on the ropes as the recall election looms; Daytona Beach talk host Marc Bernier dies after a battle with COVID-19, and actor Ed Asner dies at 91 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.