Monday Memo: Dissuading the Dug-In. “Argument seems to have displaced baseball as our national pastime. Polls tell us that many Republicans think Donald Trump was re-elected. Almost 60 years later, conspiracy theorists still mutter about who was lurking on the grassy knoll. And as we marked 20 years since 9/11, deniers still tell us the twin towers crashes were as fake as the moon landing,” consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s column. As the unvaccinated remain undaunted and COVID numbers surge, he debriefs a sociologist who explains why facts fizzle, but stories can be more convincing. Read it here.
Pending Business: Asking Questions. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column, “One of the most important skills to master in your selling life is the art and science of asking questions. The thing about asking questions during your sales calls is the process is more complicated than advertised. Yet, when mastered, the right questions will dictate the next steps to closing your deals.” Read his column here.
WABC Unveils ‘Studio 77’ Video Platform. Pictured above at 77 WABC’s new “Studio 77” during the station’s two-day tribute to the 9/11 victims, first responders, and families are (from l-r): former NYC police commissioner Bernie Kerik, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Red Apple Media chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis, and former New York Governor George Pataki. “Studio 77” is WABC’s new state-of-the-art audio and video facility that offers high-quality video news and entertainment to 77 WABC listeners. “Studio 77” content is streamed at wabcradio.com and via the mobile app and is designed to accommodate live in-studio audience experiences. Catsimaditis says, “When we decided to get into radio, we decided to go big! We bought a 50,000 watt clear channel signal with WABC, and that is just the beginning. We have the big-name talent and the right management to lead our team forward. We’re giving our listeners what they want across all audio, video, and digital channels.”
Round Three of August 2021 PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2021 sweep covered July 22 – August 18. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. Alpha Media news/talk KXL-FM, Portland remains ranked #4 in the market after dropping three-tenths for a 5.2 share ( weekly, 6+ AQH share). Radio One’s Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM sheds two-tenths to finish with a 3.8 share good for the #10 rank. iHeartMedia’s WOAI-AM, San Antonio gains seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish and jumps from the #10 rank to #5. In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK remains ranked #1 after posting another 8.7 share. Audacy’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh adds a half share to finish the survey with a 5.4 share and rises from #6 to #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the two previous rounds) here.
Lynne Hayes-Freeland Leaving Daily Talk Show at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host and radio journalist Lynne Hayes-Freeland is leaving her daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show after her November 12, program. She’s been hosting the early afternoon daypart since January of 2019. Hayes-Freeland will remain with KDKA-AM in various other capacities, including a weekly, one-hour appearance with late morning host Marty Griffin, a weekly column on kdkaradio.com, becoming a bigger part of KDKA’s social media presence, and continuing her monthly hosting duties on “Minority Health Matters,” a program KDKA does in cooperation with Gateway Medical Society, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to combatting racial disparities in health care. Audacy Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Lynne’s career in the Pittsburgh media needs no comment from me. Simply said, she is an icon in the city and a pillar of the community. We have been fortunate to have her be such a large part of KDKA the past three years and are more than thrilled she will continue on the radio station as she transitions to this next phase of her life.”
WDAY, Fargo Unveils New ‘Bonnie and Friends’ Morning Show. Fargo news/talk outlet WDAY Radio announces its new morning drive show that debuts on Thursday (9/16) will be hosted by longtime market media personality Bonnie Amistadi and will be co-hosted by Flag Family Media president Steve Hallstrom. The “Bonnie & Friends” show will air from 5:00 am to 8:30 am. Amistadi says, “I love that feeling of being there early in the morning for my radio listeners. Many of them have become friends and whether they are starting their day, heading to bed, or somewhere in between, I enjoy being the one who delivers their news, weather, and sports. And plenty of laughs too!” Hallstrom comments, “We are thrilled to announce this new program. ‘Bonnie & Friends’ completes a re-engineering of the broadcast day on WDAY Radio, and we’re proud to now have a full lineup of live, local shows between 5:00 am and 6:30 pm each weekday. We’re thankful to the Marcil family and Forum Communications for their partnership in helping us shape a robust lineup that pours massive resources into local news and weather content.”
TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow’s California recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom will be covered by Salem Radio Network News starting at 6:00 pm ET. SRN News is distributing non-stop coverage from Los Angeles, anchored by KRLA “The Answer” host Jennifer Horn and KRLA news anchor Larry Marino until 12:00 midnight ET. SRN News is also providing one-minute Special Reports each hour at :40-past the hour…..Media Staffing Network founder and CEO Laurie Kahn is delivering another IBA ‘members only’ webinar titled ‘Talent Acquisition Tips to Attract a Higher Quality of Job Seeker’ tomorrow (9/14) at 4:00 pm ET. In this webinar, Kahn will detail what it takes to compete to hire top talent. In addition, she’ll demonstrate how to create a job profile that attracts top talent, including updating of company websites and using social media to get the word out…..Newsweek announces the official launch of a new podcast called, “The Daily Break,” hosted by editor-at-large Naveed Jamali, former FBI double agent, Navy intelligence officer and author of How to Catch a Russian Spy. The show is inspired by Jamali’s work in national security and will bring his unique experience in intelligence-focused analysis to trending news stories across the political spectrum…..The GCN nationally syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” program is being added to the program schedule at KGUM-AM, Guam.
9/11 Anniversary, Afghanistan, COVID-19, Newsom Recall Election, Biden Tax Hikes, January 6 Investigation/September Rally, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The remembrance of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001; the criticism of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the controversy over mask & vaccine mandates; the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom and talk host Larry Elder’s chances of taking over; the battle over Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan that includes new taxes; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack & the looming Justice for J6 rally; and the ongoing western wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Holland Cooke
NBC uses affiliates’ air to ask viewers to watch Peacock instead. They even cannibalize their own linear channels. As President Trump recently addressed Congress, Lester Holt anchored on NBC, while MSNBC “Morning Joe” stars anchored coverage on Peacock. As if Brian Williams + talking-heads on MSNBC and Shepard Smith + talking-heads on CNBC weren’t splintering viewership already.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “If I Had a Hammer,” looks back at this past week of April 5-9. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Erick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta; Frank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York; Gene “Bean” Baxter, talk show host, Podcast Radio, UK; Jim Blasingame, talk show host, Small Business Advocate; Noel Paul Stookey, musician / activist, Peter, Paul and Mary; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Salem Radio Network Host Charlie Kirk Joins WABC, New York for Early Afternoon Hour. Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk show host Charlie Kirk is taking over the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm hour at Red Apple Media’s legendary WABC, New York on Monday (4/12). Kirk is founder of Turning Point USA, a best-selling author, and host of a popular podcast who joined Salem Radio Network in October of 2020. He says, “I am thrilled and honored to take the same time and station where my friend and American hero Rush Limbaugh launched his national radio show in 1988. I am so impressed with what John Catsimatidis has done since he bought this great station and will commit to doing my part to keep this as one of the top talk stations in America.” Catsimatidis says, “Charlie Kirk has proven to be one of the bright lights of the conservative movement. He’s young, energetic, articulate, and proving to be a great radio talent.” Salem Radio Network SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “I was fortunate to be the PD at WABC for 14 years. I am thrilled to see WABC once again affirm its status as one of the truly iconic talk stations in the nation, and so blessed to be able to add our newest star Charlie Kirk to their all-star lineup.”
Radio America’s Dana Loesch Featured in The Hill Piece. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Dana Loesch is featured in a story by Thomas Moore in The Hill. The piece, titled, “Dana Loesch has Limbaugh-like aspirations for conservative talk,” explores Loesch’s move to add new affiliate stations in the aftermath of the death of former fellow midday talk host Rush Limbaugh. Loesch is quick to say Limbaugh was a pioneer whose importance to modern talk radio can’t be underestimated and says the idea of being his “heir” is “crazy.” But Radio America and Loesch herself are aggressively working to gain new affiliate stations during this period when news/talk stations that carry “The Rush Limbaugh Show” are examining their options. She tells The Hill her “happy warrior” approach makes her different than her competition. “I don’t like the nonstop, let’s be angry 24-7. And I just don’t even know how that can be maintained, nor do I have any interest in doing that kind of radio. We have fun. And I think that that shows.” Read the piece here.
La Crosse Sports Radio Voice Mike Kearns Passes. La Crosse, Wisconsin television station WXOW reports that longtime La Crosse sports media personality Mike Kearns passed away recently. Kearns worked his entire radio career at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s WKTY Radio doing play-by-play for high school and college football and basketball games. Kearns also hosted “The Lead Balloon Show” weekday mornings from 1981 until his retirement in 2016. Kearns assumed hosting duties for that show from his father Charlie who launched the program in 1948. It’s estimated that between Mike and his father, they called more than 1,200 football and 6,000 basketball games for WKTY over a 68-year period. Kearns, along with his father, was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
Longtime KFGO, Fargo Personality Tom Wynn Dies at 83. Fargo news/talk station KFGO reports that former morning drive host Tom Wynn has died at age 83. Wynn, who served with the station for 37 years after arriving in Fargo from Lansing, Michigan in 1979, retired from the station in 2017. Wynn hosted “Tom Wynn and Friends” from 5:00 am to 8:00 am with Bonnie Amistadi and Doug Leier until his retirement. Prior to that, he partnered with the late Larry Ristvedt for “Tom and Larry in the Morning.” No cause of death was included in the report.
PodcastOne Content Available on Samsung Free. As the result of an agreement between LiveXLive Media’s PodcastOne and Samsung, all PodcastOne content will be available for the first time ever via the Listen tab within Samsung Free on compatible Galaxy S21, Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note20, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note10 series devices. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “PodcastOne strives to make our content some of the most easily accessed content in the podcasting genre. Listening to your favorite hosts and shows shouldn’t be more than a one-tap process and our agreement with Samsung brings fluid accessibility to podcast fans in a new way.”
COVID-19 Vaccines, Variants and Stats Top News/Talk Story This Week. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the rollout of vaccines, and the status of variants combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Derek Chauvin trial and the related issues of race relations and police reform. Following at #3 was gun violence and President Biden’s gun control measures. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Longtime KFGO, Fargo Personality Bob Harris in Coma Battling COVID-19. According to a story posted on KFGO, Fargo’s website, station personality Bob Harris is in a coma suffering from the effects of COVID-19 at a Fargo hospital where he’s been since Thanksgiving. The piece notes that Harris – who hosts the “Nighttime Live” show and the “Harris Happenings” podcast – went to the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. Harris’ sister Jeanie Smith says Harris has suffered two cardiac arrest events, but doctors say the pneumonia he’d been suffering has improved and there’s no indication that he’s suffered a stroke or brain damage. She says if he does not regain consciousness soon, he will undergo an MRI.
Christmas Special Available from ‘Our American Stories.’ For news/talk stations seeking quality holiday programming, Lee Habeeb’s American Private Radio is offering a multiple-hour “Our American Stories Christmas Holiday Radio Special,” featuring “behind-the-stories of our most cherished traditions, plus some extra special stories designed to warm the hearts and spirits of listeners everywhere.” APR says that in addition to the Friday, December 25 two-hour special edition of “Our American Stories,” several extra hours will also be made available to stations looking to expand their holiday programming (via FTP download). No contracts required. If you’d like more information, email Affiliates@Oanetwork.org
or call 855-276-8020.
Salem Names David Cruz VP of New Latino-Targeted Salem Si. Broadcasting pro David Cruz is joining Salem Media Group as vice president of Salem Si – a new digital streaming platform scheduled to launch in January that’s focused on the nation’s Latino market. Cruz began his career with Spanish International Network, the predecessor to Univision. He worked in various news capacities with ABC, CBS, and NBC television network stations and became anchor of the nation’s first syndicated, bilingual news talk program for CNN Spanish Radio and Radio Centro in Latin America. Most recently, Cruz served with iHeartMedia in Los Angeles hosting a talk show on news/talk KFI and KEIB and as director of corporate and community partnerships in emerging markets. Salem broadcast media president David Santrella says, “We are very excited that David and Salem have entered into this collaboration that promises to reach and serve the youngest and fastest growing audience demographic in the United States. The challenges presented by COVID-19 have only accelerated the shift in listening patterns by Latinos who are seeking timely, relevant, and accurate information live and on-demand. David’s extensive background as one of the country’s established and well-known Latino broadcast network journalists makes him the ideal person to lead this new digital initiative with Salem Media Group.”
Heritage Foundation Honors Rush Limbaugh with Award; Names Studio After Him. Conservative Washington, DC think tank The Heritage Foundation presented Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh with its inaugural “Titan of Conservatism Award” during the organization’s annual President’s Club Meeting. In addition, the Heritage Foundation will honor Limbaugh by naming its new, state-of-the-art studios the Rush Limbaugh Radio Studios “to ensure his legacy continues to shape future generations.” Heritage Foundation president Kay C. James states, “If there was a ‘Conservative Hall of Fame,’ Rush would no doubt be a first-ballot entry. From behind the golden EIB microphone, he inspired millions of Americans to cherish our God-given rights and freedoms and the country and Constitution that serve to protect them. Rush helped bring the conservative movement together three hours a day for a family meeting, he helped everyday Americans realize they were conservative, and he brought millions of new people into the conservative movement. The extraordinary reach of his #1-rated radio talk show has allowed him to attract listeners with his common sense, everyday-language explanations of why conservatism works and how every American benefits because of it. The conservative movement simply wouldn’t be where it is today without the venerable Rush Limbaugh.
Armstrong & Getty Add Affiliates in Alaska and Nebraska. The KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based talk radio show “Armstrong & Getty” – co-hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – adds two new affiliate stations as Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska and KFQD, Anchorage, Alaska agree to add the program to their lineups. KFQD content director Joe Campbell says, “Too much of the dial is dedicated to hardline opinion and ‘picking a side.’ We’re chopping the audience up into too many camps. It shouldn’t be about left or right, but rather entertaining the listener. Joe and Jack are a couple of guys you just want to hang out and have a drink with. They’re capable of serious political discussion, but it’s always entertaining and genuine. Armstrong & Getty just get it. I’m excited to have them on-board at KFQD.” Armstrong & Getty comment, “We’re really grateful that Alpha has invited us to join the team. We’re not beltway pundits. We’re Middle-American guys with families who are just trying to bring a little perspective, honesty, and humor to the day’s events. We’re patriots more than we’re partisans.”
Cherry Creek Media and CreativeReady Announce Deal. The audio creative firm CreativeReady and Cherry Creek Media announce a new partnership that will allow all 50 Cherry Creek radio stations to use CreativeReady’s on-demand creative assets. Cherry Creek CEO Jonathan Brewster says, “CCM is always working to provide our markets with the tools needed to help clients thrive. The CreativeReady platform will really help us deliver outstanding creative strategies for clients and improve efficiencies within our stations.” CreativeReady founder and CEO Jamie Alpin comments, “We believe the key to a successful seller/client relationship is in developing longterm creative ad strategies. It’s about giving the client our very best and the Cherry Creek culture aligns with that mindset perfectly. They have an outstanding reputation for going above and beyond for their clients and we couldn’t be happier with this partnership.”
COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Holiday Travel/Family Get-Togethers, Trump’s Fraud Claims, Feds & States Sue Facebook, Biden Transition, Georgia Runoff Elections, and Hunter Biden Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/9). The sharply rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S, the death toll, and the timetable for distributing vaccines; the warning from the CDC about traveling during the holidays and having large family get-togethers; Donald Trump’s continuing insistence on election fraud; the federal government and 48 states file anti-trust charges against Facebook; Joe Biden’s transition process; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; and the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax reporting from his overseas business endeavors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Grace Curley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Rising millennial talk radio star, Grace Curley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” At 28, this multi-media conservative commentator is already known to thousands of New England radio listeners, newspaper readers, and podcast fans for her solid presence and longtime media accomplishments in the six-state region. She has successfully served as executive producer and on-air co-host for the regionally syndicated “Howie Carr Show” since 2014. She is a weekly columnist for the Boston Herald writing about media, politics, and popular culture. She is also the producer for “Dirty Rats” – a highly successful true crime podcast hosted by Howie Carr. And now she’s ready to become a major news/talk radio host in her own right as the Howie Carr Radio Network will be launching her into regional and potentially national syndication beginning January 4, 2021 and they’ve already gained an important clearance on the legendary WRKO, Boston in the daily 12:15 pm to 3:00 pm timeslot which serves as lead-in to the mega-popular Howie Carr show. Having followed her growth as an evolving media figure over the years, Michael Harrison states, “This outstanding young woman dazzles with millennial energy and across-the-board charm!” Harrison and Curley discuss the strong and productive relationship that has developed between her and her mentor, Howie Carr. They also talk about what it’s like being a young, female conservative commentator in liberal Massachusetts as well as Curley’s observations about the nature of today’s rapidly maturing millennial demographic. Check it out and be prepared to meet a fresh, exciting new talk radio voice. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. For classic rock stations seeking Christmas programming, Compass Media Networks is presenting the 25th annual “Uncle Joe’s Rockin’ Christmas Show.” The program is a four-hour show full of classic rock Christmas songs, exclusive artist interviews and stories. Contact Doug Ingold 310-242-8746 or at firstname.lastname@example.org…..iHeartRadio Canada announces the first live international launch of “The Bobby Bones Show” on CIMX-FM, Windsor, Ontario “PURE COUNTRY 89” that also serves the Detroit market, effective December 14.