SiriusXM Host Joe Madison is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Civil rights activist, author, speaker and radio talk show host Joe Madison is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Since 1980, “The Black Eagle” has hosted shows at such outstanding outlets as WXYZ, Detroit; WWDB-FM, Philadelphia; WWRC, Washington, DC; and WOL – also in the nation’s capital. He’s been nationally syndicated by Radio One and is now well into his second decade hosting the morning show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Urban View channel. Madison was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2019. He is the leading civil rights activist broadcaster in America whose main platform is talk radio. He’s conducted high-profile hunger strikes to bring attention to causes he supports and has been arrested at demonstrations. He is a prolific public speaker and inspiration to people seeking racial equality and justice in America. The 72-year-old thought leader has received numerous honors over the years including the prestigious TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award in 2008. Joe Madison is currently the highest-ranked African American personality on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America (#5). Now, with David Canton, he has written a long-awaited book about his life and career titled, Radio Active: A Memoir of Advocacy in Action, on the Air and in the Streets. Harrison and Madison take a deep dive into the ongoing turbulence of race relations in America. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, click here.
FCC’s Carr Says Agency Has No Authority in Twitter Acquisition. Responding to the Open Markets Institute’s appeal to the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission to block the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr issued a terse statement: “The FCC has no authority to block Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and to suggest otherwise is absurd. I would welcome the full FCC making it clear that we will not entertain these types of frivolous arguments.” The Open Markets Institute says in its statement, “The most obvious problem is that the deal would give to a single man – one who already wields immense political and economic power – direct control over one of world’s most important platforms for public communications and debate. As has been true from the Founding, the American people have an absolute right to ensure the full openness and neutrality of all essential public infrastructure. Specific to communications, we see this in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, in the Telegraph acts of 1860 and 1866, the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910, the Communications Act of 1934, and many other federal and state laws. Americans have also repeatedly used our antitrust laws to prevent concentrations of power over communications, speech, debate, and news.” Read the organization’s release here.
Hall of Famer Brett Favre to Join ESPN Milwaukee for Weekly Segment. Green Bay Packers great and NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre is joining Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee stations for a weekly segment during this fall’s 2022 NFL season. Beginning August 29, the 30-minute interview will air every Monday morning at 7:30 am on WKTI-FM “94.5 ESPN” Milwaukee’s “Jen, Gabe & Chewy” program featuring Packers Hall of Fame inductee Mark Chmura. The interview will be replayed on other ESPN Wisconsin shows, “Newsradio 620” WTMJ, WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth” and Good Karma Brands’ digital platforms. Good Karma VP and market manager Steve Wexler says, “We are excited about our coverage of the team this season, which will include pre-game and post-game shows, expanded hospitality at our Tundra Trio hospitality homes in Green Bay, and the exclusive appearance of Brett Favre on our stations. Brett will bring his unique perspective and experience to our programming and we can’t to hear his takes.”
WMVP-AM, Chicago Adds Courtney Cronin as Bears Reporter and Fill-In Host. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Good Karma Brands’ sports talk WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” adds Courtney Cronin to the staff to serve as a Chicago Bears reporter and on-air fill-in host during the football season. Feder notes that she had been serving with ESPN covering the Minnesota Vikings prior to returning to her native Chicago to cover the Bears. WMVP director of content Danny Zederman is quoted saying, “We are thrilled to welcome Courtney to our ESPN Chicago family. She is well connected in NFL circles and will bring our fans the Bears information they desire. In addition to her reporting, our fans are going to enjoy what Courtney has to offer as a radio host, where she’ll talk all things Chicago sports.”
NAB2022: Employee Wellness and Mental Health. “Because COVID-19 was unlike anything we’ve experienced, they called it ‘a novel coronavirus.’” So, consultant Holland Cooke, recalls “we went into a better-safe-than-sorry mode with lasting consequences,” including in the radio workplace. One NAB Show panelist offers advice. Read it here.
Retired AURN Executive Jerry Lopes Dies. Former American Urban Radio Networks executive Gerald A. “Jerry” Lopes died on April 23. Lopes served with AURN for almost four decades, retiring in 2018 as president of programming and affiliations. AURN issued a statement saying, “We cherished his dedication to news, entertainment, and sports. As a valued member of the AURN team and a strong advocate for Black radio in general, Jerry Lopes served on the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters board for over 10 years. A few of his most notable accomplishments were securing and broadcasting an interview between then presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela in 1994, live on-site accounts of the Challenger explosion, and a live broadcast of the ‘Million Man March.’ In addition, Jerry shepherded the production of the radio versions of ‘Lou Rawls Parade of Stars’ for the United Negro College Fund and writing and producing various health and voting rights information pieces in conjunction with NABOB. Jerry’s passion for Historically Black Colleges and Black College Football led him to spearhead a 40-plus-year program of scholarships for student-athletes, The Black College All American, which celebrated students’ contributions on and off the field.”
TALKERS News Notes. “FOX Weather,” FOX News Media’s free ad-supported streaming television weather service is expanding its reach to FOX News Audio, launching a new daily podcast as well as offering hourly weather updates on FOX News Headlines 24/7 starting at 6:00 am ET on Monday, May 2. Featuring a rotation of FOX Weather meteorologists, the “FOX Weather Update Podcast” will provide multiple weather updates throughout the day. As the first podcast from the weather service which launched last October, the program will also include breaking news coverage on major systems impacting the country…..Telecommunications law professional Gregg Skall is moderating a live webinar for Independent Broadcasters Association members on Thursday, May 5 at 4:00 pm ET. The webinar, “Best Practices for Political Broadcast Advertising” will “identify and clarify the FCC rules and regulations that will keep your stations compliant, while generating revenue from political.” Skall says, “I’m excited to speak to the members of the IBA and detail the critical FCC rules and regulations for political broadcast advertising. We’re heading into an active political season and knowledge of the rules and regulations will help keep IBA-member stations out of trouble.” Learn more about IBA here…..Glass Podcasts and iHeartMedia announce the launch of the eight-part, true-crime podcast series, “Betrayal.” The series is “the story of TV producer Jenifer Faison whose picture-perfect marriage completely shatters in the blink of an eye when she suddenly discovers that her college sweetheart-turned-doting husband is not the person she thought he was. After seven years of marriage, Faison came home from work one afternoon to find her house searched and her husband arrested for the continued sexual assault of a student. In ‘Betrayal,’ Faison investigates the hidden story behind the story, revealing a dark, double-life fueled by dozens often sordid and simultaneous affairs with friends, neighbors and strangers, dating back to the week they were married.”.….ABC Audio announces its new literary podcast, “The Book Case,” hosted by longtime ABC News journalist Charlie Gibson and his daughter Kate Gibson. The first episode, posting on 5/2, features a conversation with television icon Oprah Winfrey, who discusses the impact of her book club on American readership, her own reading habits, and how she makes her picks. Each week, the father-daughter duo will provide hand-selected recommendations and sit down with a prominent or up-and-coming author, book industry insider or literary influencer.
Russia-Ukraine War/Trevor Reed Released, the Economy/Recession Fears, Musk & Twitter, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Crime, Western Drought-Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/27). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the global repercussions, and the prisoner swap that brought U.S. Marine Trevor Reed home from Russia; the financial markets activity, the high price of food and gas, and predictions of a deep recession; Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the growing rate of urban violent crime; and the drought affecting the U.S. West and the spring wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Holland Cooke
LAS VEGAS — No matter how well-planned the agenda, I’ve always found that the most valuable part of a convention is…convening, catching-up with old friends and making new ones. And being the first NAB Show in three years, this year’s event was OH-so-quotable.
“I know what transformational moments feel like, and now we’re in one…on the cusp of the best era for radio and for audio.”
By Holland Cooke
LAS VEGAS — If you’re here this week, bear with me. I’m that guy in the row behind you, typing feverishly-enough to resemble the movie character racing the countdown readout to disarm a nuclear warhead about to detonate. If you’re not here, here’s why I am:
Megatrends in the U.S. Audio Listening Landscape
From Laura Ivey, Edison Research, with bullet points from the “Share of Ear” data her firm has been tracking since 2014:
Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The opinion editor of Newsweek, Josh Hammer, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Hammer is also a podcaster, constitutional lawyer, and rising young conservative thought-leader. Newsweek is planning the launch of his new podcast, “The Josh Hammer Show” in February. The one-hour podcast will conform to the format clock of a terrestrial radio show making it conveniently translatable as a syndicated product. Harrison describes Hammer as follows: “At 32 years of age, he has already made a huge splash within the print news community as an editor and political commentator reflective of a young conservative perspective. I suspect he will be doing the same in talk media via radio and podcasting.” Harrison continues, “With such an emphasis being placed on lowering the demos, talk media practitioners – especially conservatives – should hear what he has to say.” Hammer focuses on conservative intellectual trends, contemporary domestic and foreign policy debates, constitutional and legal issues, and the intersection of law, politics and culture. His pieces have appeared in a number of major publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and many others. Harrison and Hammer take a deep-dive into the future of print versus digital, the legal complications of updating Section 230 and holding Big Tech accountable for the control they have seized over the public square, as well as the schism between traditional conservative politics and a viable next-gen approach. They discuss the impact and future of Donald Trump within the GOP and Newsweek’s strategy to appeal to a readership that spans the political spectrum. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Dan Bongino Booted from YouTube; Focuses His Content on Rumble. After violating the terms of his weeklong suspension from YouTube, Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Dan Bongino has been permanently banned from the social media video channel. Bongino shared a video on his website in which he says that he was suspended for saying nothing different than what Dr. Tony Fauci told “60 Minutes” in a March 2020 interview in which he said there’s no need for people to be walking around wearing masks because it’s not providing the protection that people think it is. Bongino questions why he’s being banned but Fauci is not. Bongino’s violation of the suspension came after he tried to post a video explaining to his fans why he’s leaving YouTube and will put all of his content on Rumble. Bongino says he had 871,000 YouTube subscribers and says he has more than 2 million subscribers on the Rumble channel.
Former Florida Sports Talk Host ‘Big Joe’ Ellicott to Cooperate with Feds’ Investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz. According to a report by CNN, Joseph “Big Joe” Ellicott has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and distribution of a controlled substance (Adderall) and has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into allegations that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had sexual contact with a minor. Ellicott previously worked for Star Over Orlando at sports talk WRSO “CBS Sports Radio Orlando” on the “Bauman and Big Joe” program. CNN reports that Ellicott pleaded guilty to the charges that stemmed from “a bribery scheme between an unnamed contractor and an unnamed elected government official. Ellicott delivered $6,000 cash from the contractor to the government official in 2017.” Other media sources are concluding that the unnamed elected government official is his friend Joel Greenberg, a former confidant of Gaetz’s who is also cooperating with investigators in the Gaetz case.
Round Two of Holiday 2021 PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Although the Holiday PPM survey usually reveals listening patterns skewed by stations breaking format to air Christmas music, some spoken-word stations were able to avoid ratings declines. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle was steady with a 6.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that kept it in the #2 rank. Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM rose two-tenths for a 5.5 share finish and climbed to the #3 rank. Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis was up seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish good for the #6 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver added nine-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.8 share and climbed to the #8 rank. You can see all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeways from this group of markets (as well as round one) here.
Religious Broadcasters Hope Media Group and WAY Media to Merge. Religious broadcasting companies Hope Media Group and WAY Media announce their intention to merge into one media organization. The formal merger is expected to close by later this year pending FCC approval. The new Christian media organization will be headquartered in Houston and will operate under the name Hope Media Group. Hope Media Group was founded 40 years ago with radio station KSBJ-FM, Houston. WAY Media was formed 35 years ago with WAYJ-FM, Fort Myers. The companies say this is a merger of equals and a cash-free transaction that received a unanimous vote from both boards of directors. Currently, Hope Media Group is a family of media brands that include Houston-focused KSBJ, the brand-new Spanish Christian “Vida Unida,” digital content outlets NGEN Radio (Christian hip-hop and pop), Hope On Demand and Amen: The Prayer App, plus a concert and event brand, Special Events. WAY Media owns and operates a national network of more than 20 “WayFM” stations in markets that include Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Portland, Nashville, and South Florida plus more than 30 translators from Florida to Washington State, in addition to digital content outlets.
TALKERS News Notes. Streaming audio service TuneIn announces a partnership with Estrella Media to bring its content to the TuneIn platform. In addition, TuneIn has partnered with Grupo Fórmula to bring its Spanish-language entertainment and news content to the platform. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern states, “Both Estrella Media and Grupo Fórmula are market leaders in Spanish-language entertainment and news radio content. We are extremely pleased to be expanding our Spanish-language offerings to a new generation of Latin radio fans and listeners around the world through the TuneIn platform. We’re also thrilled to help Estrella Media’s local stations increase monetization outside of their local markets as an added benefit of our partnership.”…..The Luminary original podcast, “The Roxane Gay Agenda,” launches with writer Dr. Roxane Gay as host and welcoming The New York Times writer Tressie McMillan Cottom and acclaimed author Terry McMillan as her first guests. The program is produced in partnership with iHeartMedia.
Stephen Breyer to Retire, Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Financial Markets/Inflation/Crypto Plunge, Urban Violent Crime Spike, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement and President Joe Biden’s possible nominations; the ongoing tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the Omicron variant infection rate and legal battles over mask & vaccine mandates; fight to control Congress in this November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the turbulent financial markets, the high retail and oil prices and the plummet in cryptocurrency value; the blowback against liberal law & order polices as violent crime in America’s major cities surges; and the Beijing Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.