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Friday, May 6, 2022

| May 6, 2022

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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Mothers of Contention,” looks back at this past week of 5/2 to 5/6. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSHarry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaTodd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; and Gregg Stebben, correspondent, beamz.live. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; 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; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS 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.

 

iHeartMedia Reports Q1 2022 Consolidated Revenue Up 19.4%. Financial results from the first quarter of 2022 for iHeartMedia Inc. reveal consolidated revenue of $843 million, an increase of 19.4% over the same period a year ago. The company’s net loss shrank during the first quarter to $48.7 million from the $242 million net loss posted during Q1 of 2021. iHeartMedia posted operating income of $12.3 million for the first quarter, compared to the operating loss of $76.4 million it reported in Q1 of 2021. Looking at the company’s reporting by segment, broadcast radio was up 16.2% on revenue of $416.5 million, and networks was up 2.1% on revenue of $117.6 million. Those, along with sponsorships & events, comprise the company’s Multiplatform Group. The Digital Audio Group consists of digital excluding podcasting, which reported revenue of $145.7 million (up 22.2%), and podcasting, which reported revenue of $68.5 million (an increase of 78.7%). The company’s Audio & Media Services Group reported revenue of $60.9 million (up 10.4%) for the quarter. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We’re pleased to report another quarter of strong results, and believe our performance is further evidence of the successful execution of our digital transformation and multiplatform strategy, and the power of our position as the #1 audio company in America across broadcast radio, digital radio, and podcasting. We remain committed to building on iHeart’s transformation into a data-led, digitally focused business; to investing in areas with high-growth potential; and to continuing our focus on innovation and being at the forefront of new technologies and digital platforms which create incremental growth opportunities for Audio.”

 

‘Toucher & Rich’ Morning Show Expands to Springfield, Mass. Market. The “Toucher & Rich” morning program based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” will be heard on rock Saga Communications WLZX-FM/W253CD in the Springfield-Northampton, Massachusetts market beginning on May 9. The program, hosted by Fred Toucher (left) and Rich Shertenlieb (right), began expanding to affiliate stations throughout New England last fall. This is an uncommon move for Saga, which has a history of keeping its morning drive programs live and local. Toucher & Rich comment, “We’re excited to be launching ‘Toucher & Rich’ in Springfield and Northampton on ‘Lazer 99.3 and 98.5’ with our new friends at Saga Communications. We’re fortunate to have some of the most loyal listeners in radio and look forward to introducing our show to a whole new audience of potential T&R diehards.”

 

Moms & Media 2022. “Two years into COVID,” Moms’ media consumption is changed. “The Research Moms” at Edison Research updated their annual report in a Thursday webinar consultant Holland Cooke attended; and HC’s “one-sentence version” is: “To reach Mom, use smartphones, Alexa, Facebook, and TikTok.” Click here for his notes, and links to download the report and watch a video of the narrated presentation. Read more here.

 

WJR-AM, Detroit Celebrates 100 Years on the Air. On Wednesday (5/4), Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR-AM, Detroit kicked off a year-long Centennial celebration. WJR signed on for the first time on May 4, 1922, as WCX, which changed a few years later to WJR to reflect the ownership of the Jewett Radio and Phonograph Company. Cumulus says, “The station has served the community with excellence for 100 years, with a 50,000-watt signal that can be heard across nearly half the country at night, providing the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan, and the Upper Midwest with news, music, sports, and information by some of the most talented people in the radio industry. Through the years, WJR’s legendary lineup has featured broadcasting giants such as Paul W. Smith, Jack Parr, Mitch Albom, J.P. McCarthy, Frank Beckmann, Ernie Harwell, Guy Gordon, and Rush Limbaugh.” In the last several months leading up to Wednesday’s 100th year birthday, WJR has presented dozens of on-air vignettes that mark memorable moments, tell interesting stories, and feature the unique sound and talented people from WJR’s history. In addition, the station has populated www.wjr.com with archival video, audio and photos that tell the story of WJR’s first 100 years. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manage Steve Finateri comments, “Being at WJR is like being part of an all-star team at every position in this famous Fisher Building. WJR is iconic because of the extremely high standards set by so many world class broadcasters over the past 100 years. Today, those same high standards and our ‘blow torch coverage’ is what still attracts top newsmakers from around the Great Lakes Region and is the reason for our continued success. We take great pride in our programming, our business and civic relationships, and serve the community by raising millions every year for numerous worthy charities that improve the quality of life in Detroit. The best-of-the-best seem to find their way to WJR, and I know that tradition will continue on for the next 100 years.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City media personality and former WGN-AM, Chicago morning drive host Steve Cochran is going to be heard on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM in mornings next week. Cochran will guest host the program that is without a permanent host since Bruce St. James exited the station last month. Since exiting WGN, Cochran has been producing a twice-weekly podcast titled, “Live from My Office.”…..Audio streaming service TuneIn names Tom Fuelling chief financial officer. Fuelling has served as CFO for Hulu, OpenX, ARTISTdirect and most recently, Spokeo, Inc. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern says, “Tom is an incredible addition to our growing leadership team. His experience scaling global media businesses that consumers love is unparalleled. Working in a competitive landscape, TuneIn has emerged as a leader in live audio streaming and we look forward to working with Tom as he’ll help us sustain and maintain our growth both domestically and abroad.”…..FOX News Media, in partnership with the National Merit Scholarship Program, announces the selection of the recipients of the third annual Dr. Charles Krauthammer Memorial Scholarship. This year’s scholarships will be endowed to Emmett Gaffney, son of vice president of documentary programming, Brian Gaffney and Grace LeCroy, the daughter of FOX News assignment desk manager Lillian LeCroy and FOX News Edge photojournalist Phil LeCroy. The winners will be featured on the network’s evening newscast, “Special Report with anchor Bret Baier,” on which Dr. Krauthammer was a fixture over the years. Additionally, Daniel Krauthammer will appear on the program tonight to discuss his father’s legacy. In making the announcement, FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “We are pleased to continue the tradition of honoring Charles Krauthammer’s extraordinary and celebrated career. Emmett and Grace are exceptional students whose many talents extend beyond the classroom. It is our hope that Charles’ brilliant intellect, integrity and courage will serve as an inspiration for them throughout their next endeavors in higher education. Congratulations to Emmett, Grace, and their families.”

 

Roe v Wade Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 2-6. The leak of a draft decision indicating the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics tied with the 2022 and 2024 elections, followed by January 6 committee activity tied with Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the 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.

Monday, March 28, 2022

| March 28, 2022

Monday Memo: Is Your Show the Dog? Or the Tail? “Spoiler Alert: Both!” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. As radio faces new audio competitors, HC follows up last week’s column “Weekend Warriors: Renegotiate” by outlining tactics that make ask-the-expert hosts sound popular and preeminent and leverage on-air shows to the digital on-demand platform listeners and advertisers increasingly favor. Read more here.

 

Pending Business: Marketing Madness. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the innovation that’s taken place in the static advertising realm – bus shelters and taxi tops, for example. He says that talk radio also has the ability to create innovative marketing opportunities for clients within its own technological parameters. In fact, it’s crucial to competing. “Developing and presenting unique, cutting-edge sales and marketing solutions is a relationship builder that can cement a long-term bond,” he says. Read more here.

 

Beasley Media Group Names Kevin Rich VP of Operations. Radio executive Kevin Rich joins Beasley Media Group as vice president of operations, effective April 18, 2022. Rich was most recently market president and chief revenue and content officer at Townsquare Media’s Albany operations in which he was responsible for overseeing and managing the market with a focus on generating revenue across the company’s media and entertainment platforms. In his new role with Beasley, Rich will work closely with company president Bruce Beasley, chief operating officer Brian Beasley and vice president of operations Brad Beasley in overseeing the day-to-day business of the company’s 62 radio stations and multiple platforms. Company CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It’s an absolute privilege to welcome Kevin into our Beasley Media Group family. His credentials and leadership skills are the perfect fit with our organization. We look forward to Kevin sharing his outstanding strategic skill set, especially on the digital side of the business, with our teams across the organization.” Rich comments, “I am thrilled to join the Beasley Media family at a pivotal moment in the company’s growth. This is an exciting time for our industry, and I am honored to be joining such a talented team as we continue to deliver the very best content, provide comprehensive solutions to advertisers, and strengthen our market presence in the communities we serve.”

 

Detroit News Radio Pro Ken Rogulski Joins WHMI-FM, Howell as News Director. Radio news pro Ken Rogulski is named news director and morning drive news anchor at Krol Communications’ full-service/classic hits WHMI-FM, Howell, Michigan. Rogulski has held down a number of assignments at WJR-AM, Detroit for almost two decades including newscaster, street reporter, fill-in talk show host for the late Frank Beckmann, and performing his live annual broadcast from the policy conference on Mackinac Island. He is recipient of numerous awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, The Associated Press and The Society of Professional Journalists as well as having been a correspondent for ABC News and Westwood One News. Rogulski will lead the news staff that includes Jessica Mathews, Mike Kruzman, and Tom Tolen.

 

WLW, Cincinnati Celebrates 100 Years. The iHeartMedia station that was once a 500,000-watt signal dubbed “The Nation’s Station” celebrated its 100th birthday on March 23. WLW, Cincinnati is one of a number of heritage stations that launched in 1922. iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany also celebrated its 100th this year. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has two WLW videos that TALKERS readers may find interesting. The first is from a WLW Radio reunion produced in March of 2020 by Vuolo and current Nexstar Media executive Sean Compton. The second is a tour of the station’s transmitter with Randy Michaels produced on December 9, 1985.

 

WWL, New Orleans to Commemorate 100th Year of Broadcasting. As NOLA.com reports, New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first broadcast on March 31, 1922. WWL was the first station to serve the lower Mississippi River valley. The NOLA piece notes that “WWL was an outgrowth of physics experiments and wireless radio classes offered at Loyola University as early as 1907. On March 31, 1922, WWL’s first broadcast from Loyola’s Marquette Hall consisted of an on-air fundraising appeal from Father Edward Cummings, S.J., Loyola University’s president, followed by someone playing a few songs on an upright piano.” Loyola operated the station until 1989 when it sold the station and its sister WLMG-FM to Keymarket Communications.

 

TALKERS News Notes. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Collab Inc will result in the creation of Curativity, LLC, a new podcast studio publishing creator-centric shows with Collab’s top talent, as well as the debut a new slate of family shows. The Curativity kids slate will kick off with three shows featuring popular kids Collab talent Mr. Jim, including a new weekly series, “Spyology Squad,” set to launch April 4. In addition, the kids’ programs, “Kids Animal Stories,” and “Kids Short Stories,” will join the slate…..Milwaukee Board of School Directors-owned triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” expands its flagship “Community Stories” program into a full-length weekly podcast called, “Uniquely Milwaukee.” The podcast launch is part of Radio Milwaukee’s 15th birthday celebration this year, growing a program that has been a part of its mission-driven offerings since 2007. The first episode of “Uniquely Milwaukee” centers on bodegas in the city. Station director of content Nate Imig says, “‘Community Stories’ are a beloved part of Radio Milwaukee. By expanding this content into a weekly thematic podcast, ‘Uniquely Milwaukee’ will greatly increase the amount of stories we’re able to share with listeners.”

 

Ukraine Song Getting Airplay, Garnering Downloads. A song penned by Streamline Publishing chairman and CEO Eric Rhoads is getting airplay on radio stations in the U.S. and has also been one of the most downloaded songs the past couple of weeks. Rhoads, whose company publishes radio trades Radio Ink and RBR-TVBR, says he decided “we needed a ‘we are the world’ kind of anthem. I wrote a title called, ‘Tears for Ukraine,’ and some lyrics. I then went to Billy Craig, he co-wrote with me and produced it.” You can hear the song here.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Biden at NATO, COVID-19, Gas Prices/Inflation, Brown Confirmation Hearings, Ginni Thomas and January 6, Midterms and Trump & the GOP, and the Oscars Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; President Joe Biden calls for Vladimir Putin to be removed from power at NATO conference; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s rampant in the U.K. and parts of Asia; Americans’ frustration over high gas prices and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the aftermath of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Katanji Jackson Brown; the January 6 committee’s investigation and texts between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in which she appears to urge him to overturn the 2020 election results; the battle for control of congress in November’s midterm elections and speculation about Donald Trump’s potential 2024 run; and Sunday night’s Oscars telecast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, February 14, 2022

| February 14, 2022

Report: Ryan Maguire to Lead Programming at Good Karma’s WTMJ and WKTI in Milwaukee. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, radio programming pro Ryan Maguire is moving from his role as executive producer of the Chicago White Sox Radio Network at WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” to the Milwaukee operations of Good Karma Brands where he’ll serve as director of content for news/talk WTMJ and sports talk WKTI-FM “ESPN Milwaukee.” Maguire is quoted in Barrett Sports Media saying, “I’m going to miss working with everyone in the Windy City; in particular, Len Kasper, Darrin Jackson, Connor McKnight and our entire team that put White Sox radio broadcasts together this past season. I’m happy to call them lifelong friends.”

Monday Memo: Talk Topic Two-fer. “Making the phone ring today will be easy,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons, predicting lots of calls about the Super Bowl (commercials). But next Monday, Presidents Day, is a holiday for many “whose habit listening will be disrupted.” So, in this week’s column, HC details two sure-fire call-in topics for next Monday. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: A Customer-centric Pitch. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says he recently saw a sign in a New York dry-cleaner/laundry window that proclaimed, “We do a better shirt.” The sign then explained the seven reasons this was true in clear, simple language. “The real lesson here is how elegantly simple this merchant crafted a customer-centric ‘pitch’ that showed the difference and advantage of buying the service they offered versus the competitors down the block and across the street.” Is your pitch to radio advertising prospects as customer-focused? Read more here.

Longtime Detroit Talk Radio Personality Frank Beckmann Dead at 72. Almost a year after retiring from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR-AM, Detroit, Frank Beckmann has died at the age of 72. Cumulus says Beckmann died on Saturday evening. In January 2021, the WJR late morning host announced his retirement after a 48-year radio career in Detroit. He hosted “The Frank Beckmann Show” on weekdays from 9:00 am-12:00 noon for 18 years prior to his retirement. Beckmann was recognized as Michigan’s top sportscaster for his work as the only person to broadcast games for all four of Detroit’s major sports teams and his creation of Detroit’s first sports talk show, “Sportswrap,” in 1981. He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and was also inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the VIP Mentoring Coaches Challenge Hall of Fame. In 1981, he succeeded Bob Ufer as the University of Michigan football play-by-play announcer, a job he did for 33 seasons. Over the course of his storied career, Beckmann helped raise tens of millions of dollars for Detroit area charities, including: The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund; Dutton Farm, which serves those with Down Syndrome; the Autism Alliance of Michigan; and numerous other nonprofit organizations. Beckmann was also a longtime major supporter of the March of Dimes and hosted an annual golf tournament fundraiser for the charity for 37 years. Fellow WJR personality Paul W. Smith commented, “In all my years of broadcasting and all the people I’ve had the privilege of working with, Frank Beckmann was one of a kind. All of us at WJR, and for that matter, all of Detroit, have been lucky to have him.”

WINA, Charlottesville Host Rob Schilling Sues Congressional Democrats Over Records Request. According to a story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, WINA-AM/W255CT, Charlottesville midday talk show host Rob Schilling is suing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House clerk Cheryl L. Johnson and chief administrative officer of the U.S. House Catherine Szpindor alleging they denied him public records related to climate change hearings. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in D.C., says Schilling’s request for documents related to House Committee on Oversight & Reform called “Fueling the Climate Crisis: Exposing Big Oil’s Disinformation Campaign to Prevent Climate Action” have been ignored or he’s been told no such records exist. Schilling’s complaint includes allegations that “the committee’s investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s climate disinformation campaign” is not in furtherance of Congress’ duty. He also argues that it appears “consultants were hired without following the process set forth in the House rules.” The Times-Dispatch story says no hearings related to this suit are currently scheduled.

WTOP, Washington to Debut ‘DMV Download’ in April. A new, daily local podcast from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington will launch in April. WTOP says “DMV Download” is “the first local daily podcast that dives deeper into the biggest and most interesting news stories impacting Washingtonians – from Anacostia to Ashburn, Silver Spring to Upper Marlboro.” The program is hosted by WTOP investigative reporter Megan Cloherty and WTOP producer Luke Garrett. WTOP director of content integration and operations Craig Schwalb states, “Launching the DMV Download highlights WTOP’s continued focus on innovation with an investment in two accomplished and respected journalists excited to bring a fresh, local news podcast to life for the DC area.” Cloherty adds, “In 20 minutes, we’ll offer listeners context on the day’s biggest stories, going past the headlines with our deep bench of sources and reporters. In my mind, if we can wrap up your workday with dependable, interesting content about our community, we’ve done our job.”

TALKERS News Notes. Boston public news/talk outlet WGBH-FM announces what it is calling “a reimagined ‘Morning Edition’ with co-hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel. GBH News says alongside the NPR “Morning Edition” broadcast, Alston and Siegel “will bring audiences into the center of these stories, adding local context and depth.”  GBH general manager of news Pam Johnston says, “Our audiences have told us that mornings matter most when it comes to news. This is when people seek out the information they need to get them going and set the tone for the day ahead. Paris and Jeremy have the intelligence, energy and authenticity we need to start our mornings right. I know local audiences will relate to their informative and dynamic style.”…..Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios announces the debut of the new five-part podcast series “Love Thy Neighbor,” that looks at the 1991 Crown Heights riots. Emmy-award winning journalist Collier Meyerson hosts the show that explores the lasting impact those four days of violence had on Crown Heights residents and the future of New York City. Through deeply personal, new and archival interviews with residents, scholars, and activists, “Love Thy Neighbor” will show how those four days in 1991 were a flashpoint that shaped a dark new era of politics, policing, anti-semitism and anti-Black racism in New York City.

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19/Trucker Protest, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Crime Wave-Violence Against Cops, January 6 Investigation, Beijing Olympics, and Super Bowl LVI Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; the relaxing of COVID-19 mandates and the dismantling of the Freedom Convoy blocking the bridge from Windsor to Detroit; the battle for control over Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the wave of violent crime in America’s large cities and the spate of violence against cops; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the search for Trump administration records; the politics surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics; and the Los Angeles Ram’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

| September 23, 2021

Jimmy Failla is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the funniest and freshest talents in news/talk radio, FOX News Radio’s 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET midday host Jimmy Failla, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Prior to filling the position as the host of “FOX Across America” in the spring of 2020, Failla – a native Long Islander – worked his way up through the ranks of New York’s stand-up comedy scene and served more than a decade as a cab driver in the Big Apple where he sharpened his insights into the human condition. Harrison and Failla engage in a fascinating discussion about the historic role of comedy and satire in political and social commentary with a focus on the impact today’s repressive political correctness is having upon the communication arts in general. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Kevin Dietz Officially Named Late Morning Host at WJR-AM, Detroit. WJR-AM, Detroit radio personality Kevin Dietz is officially named the host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart. He’s been hosting the show at the Cumulus Media station since June 1, three months after longtime host Frank Beckmann retired back in March. Dietz made the announcement via his Facebook page. Dietz was a longtime investigative reporter at WDIV-TV, Detroit who was fired from the station in 2019 after he made a racial comment about another reporter at an Investigative Reporters and Editors conference. Dietz issued the following statement after the incident: “The intent of my comment was to openly acknowledge, amongst team members, the challenge it’s been for our company, and many companies, to achieve diversity goals. This is a serious subject that I approached through humor. Nevertheless, the station has a zero-tolerance policy on racially insensitive comments and they determined, despite the intent and context of my statement, that it violated the policy. I understand and support the need for such policies.”

‘Big Horn Radio Network’ Host Darian Dudrick Dies at 52 from COVID. The Cody Enterprise reports that KODI-AM/FM, Cody, Wyoming and “Big Horn Radio Network” morning drive talk host Darian Dudrick died on Tuesday (9/21) at the age of 52 after a battle with COVID-19. His “Daybreak with Darian Dudrick” program aired across the network and was popular for its “Speak Your Piece” call-in segment. Legend Communications co-owner Susan Patrick is quoted saying, “He was loved by the community and whole radio station. He was a great journalist and recognized across the state of Wyoming.” The station issued the following statement after his passing: “It is with saddened hearts that we have to say goodbye to one of our own. Our hearts go out to the Dudrick family with the passing of Darian, a man of God, loving father and husband. He was the voice of Cody and will be missed by all.” He is survived by his wife April and children Kaitlyn and Christian.

RAB: Marketers Looking to Capitalize on ‘Screen-Free Media.’ In its latest “Matter of Fact” column, the RAB addresses the “new wave of radio advertising” that marketers are exploring by presenting a piece by Tammy Greenberg originally published in the Association of National Advertisers Knowledge Center. The piece says, “The diversification of audio platforms and the attention audio commands among consumers has opened up tremendous opportunity for brands to expand their audio strategies and grow their audiences.” American Association of Advertising Agencies president and CEO Marla Kaplowitz says because consumers “are inundated with ads, audio and radio offer a very different and effective alternative to capturing consumer attention while adding complementary scale.” She says the biggest challenge for brands is creative. “It is a given that adding radio to a media mix is going to extend the reach and provide the opportunity to engage consumers differently. To be successful, brands must be thoughtful about the right execution because audio is not stimulating the other senses in the same way as visual media can. Brands must really focus on allowing the consumer to create their own visual sense connected to the audio advertising that invites them in.” Read the entire column here.

Audacy to Broadcast 5th Annual ‘I’m Listening’ Special Tonight. This evening from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Audacy broadcasts its fifth annual “I’m Listening” special – a live national broadcast bringing together artists, athletes, medical specialists and others with intimate conversations about mental health through authentic, open dialogue led by some of the nation’s top influencers. The two-hour special is taking place in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and airs across more than 230 Audacy stations and will be livestreamed via its digital app. The program is being co-hosted by Carson Daly (left) and Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble (right) and features appearances by celebrities including: Machine Gun Kelly, Darius Rucker, Nelly, Glennon Doyle, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Shakira, Justin Bieber, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and BleachersJack Antonoff.

PodcastOne Announces Panel of Judges for ‘Self-Made Podcasts Edition’ Contest. The award-winning panel of judges who will select the winner in PodcastOne’s “Self-Made Podcast Edition” contest have been named. They are: Kailtyn Bristowe, creator and host of “Off the Vine,” Adam Carolla, Emmy Award-winner and “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin, broadcast journalist and “Cheating: When Love Lies” podcast host Jillian Hamilton, documentarian Barbara Schroeder, Oxford Road head of client services James Ingrassia, Ad Results VP of media DeSha Runnels, Podsights co-founder Sarah Cotenoff, Magellan AI chief revenue officer John Goforth, PodcastOne president and co-founder Kit Gray, and PodcastOne and Westwood One founder Norm Pattiz. “Self-Made Podcast Edition” is driven by fans as well as the panel of judges, all listening to see who will take the top prize: a podcasting contract with PodcastOne, and a total package worth over $100,000 including promotion across the network. The winner will then be crowned on September 30, 2021, International Podcast Day.

Brandi Love Visits ‘Shannon Burke Show.’ Pictured above is adult film actress Brandi Love (right) with talk radio host Shannon Burke (left). Love recently appeared on “The Shannon Burke Show” – heard afternoons on JVC Broadcasting’s “Florida Man Radio” (WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach) – and talked about getting booted from Turning Point USA’s Tampa conference in July because of her profession. Love is a columnist for The Federalist and a Donald Trump supporter and had a lot to say about hypocrisy.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago reporter Steve Miller is semi-retiring from the Audacy station after a 38-year career there. Feder reports that Miller will continue to do some fill-in work and special projects for the station. WBBM news director Ron Gleason says, “We’ve been blessed with many great reporters over the years, but when it comes to digging for tough-to-find information, I can’t think of anyone better than Steve Miller.”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 announces the launch of “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: A Friday Night Lights Rewatch,” a weekly podcast hosted by actors Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins) and Stacey Oristano (Mindy Collette-Riggins), in which they return to the fictional town of Dillon, Texas to revisit the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series. The pair invite listeners to take a trip back to Dillon, home of the Panthers and the Lions, as they break down iconic show moments, share behind-the-scenes stories, and answer fan questions, which listeners are invited to send in…..Cumulus Media and Rolling Stone introduce the podcast “Don’t Let This Flop” – a weekly podcast that highlights the week on TikTok, revealing the top trends and memes in all areas including dance, recipes, makeup challenges, viral videos, celebrity videos, grassroots campaigns intended to raise awareness of social issues, and anything else capturing TikTok users’ attention each week. Hosts Brittany Spanos and EJ Dickson are joined by a special guest each week to discuss the significance and relevance of the week’s most popular posts outside the world of TikTok…..The K-Star Talk Radio Network announces the addition of radio host Ron Edwards’ syndicated talk radio program, “The Ron Edwards American Experience,” to its schedule. The program is a one-hour, live, highlight reel of substantive information, history, and current events with a Christian, conservative perspective. K-Star program director Angeline Marie says, “He is a radio veteran that is well respected with over 20 years as a radio host and news anchor in several Midwest markets including Cleveland and Detroit.”

COVID-19, Debt Ceiling Debate, Border Crisis/Migrant Policy, Policing Reform Stalemate, Michael Sussman Indictment, U.S.-EU-Australian Indo-Pacific Tensions, and Gabby Petito Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22). The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., booster shots, and mask & vaccine mandates; the debate in Congress over raising the U.S.’s debt ceiling to avoid default; the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the return of migrants to Haiti; Democrats and Republicans in Congress at a stalemate over federal policing reform; the indictment of attorney Michael Sussman in connection with the DOJs Trump-Russia investigation; the cooperation between the U.S., Europe, and Australia in monitoring China’s rapidly expanding military presence in the Indo-Pacific; and the investigation into the death of Gabby Petito were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

| January 14, 2021

Key Networks Names Deidra Hoye to Lead Expanded Sales Team. Syndication firm Key Networks appoints network advertising sales executive Deidra Hoye to the senior vice president, ad sales position in which she’ll lead the company’s newly expanded sales team. Los Angeles-based Hoye will supervise the enhanced sales team of veteran network radio sales professionals that includes recent hires Maggie Sisco, vice president, Eastern sales; Brian Pollina, vice president, Midwest sales; and Michelle McLynn, supervisor of sales support & operations. Hoye previously served as vice president, network sales, for Premiere Networks. Sisco joins Key Networks from PodcastOne, where she was vice president/director of sales, Eastern region. Pollina comes to Key Networks from United Stations Radio Networks, where he was vice president of digital assets and Midwest sales. McLynn joins Key from Westwood One, where she was affiliate services manager. Key Networks and Sun & Fun Media CEO Rob Koblasz says, “We are delighted to welcome Deidra to the Key Networks team. Her wealth of experience in the network ad sales arena will allow us to serve our partners now and as we grow our network. Deidra’s leadership along with the breadth of experience of our team is a winning combination for our customers.” Key Networks syndicates “The O’Reilly Update,” starring Bill O’Reilly to almost 250 radio stations. It also manages all network advertising sales, affiliate sales, and marketing for Bloomberg Radio and distributes “Shawn Parr’s Across The Country,” as well as news/talk program “The Jesse Kelly Show,” alt rock morning program, “The Billy Madison Show,” and Virtual Jock programming services.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh News Anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas to Retire. Pittsburgh news anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas is retiring from her PM drive anchor post at Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM after 45years in the broadcasting business. Ryan-Douglas has been with KDKA-AM since 2002. She joined KDKA-AM after anchoring the morning news at crosstown (current classic hits outlet) WWSW “3WS” for almost 20 years. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Rose has been the ultimate news professional. Not only will we miss her on the air but her calming influence in the newsroom is irreplaceable. On behalf of all of us at KDKA Radio and our listeners we thank her for the tremendous work she has done over the years.” Her last shift will be Friday, February 26.

Seth Goldberg Exits ‘ESPN Syracuse’ for Gig with the NBA. Syracuse.com reports that WTLA-AM, Syracuse “ESPN Radio Syracuse” host and producer Seth Goldberg is leaving the radio station to take a position with the NBA. Goldberg began working at WTLA in 2015 producing “Upon Further Review” with hosts Chris McManus and Steve Neikam while still a student at Syracuse University. Joining WTLA full time after graduating in 2016, Goldberg has been co-host and producer for “Orange Nation” (co-hosted with Steve Infanti), and produces “On the Block,” a program with Syracuse.com’s Brent Axe. Both programs also are featured on the WTLA-SU Twitch streaming channel ‘Cuse Sports Talk.’ Galaxy Media CEO Ed Levine says Goldberg’s on-air role on “Orange Nation” will be filled in the interim by Paulie Scibilia.

Beasley Media Group’s Preliminary Q4 Net Revenue Down 5.8%-6.5%. Releasing preliminary financial data from the fourth quarter of 20201, Beasley Media Group says it expects net revenue for the period to be approximately $67.4 million to $67.9 million. Compared to the same period in 2019, the figures represent a decrease of between 5.8% and 6.5%. The company says the change reflects a year-over-year decrease in commercial advertising revenue due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by growth in digital, esports, and political revenue. Other data points include: fourth quarter 2020 Station Operating Income increased by approximately 23.1% to 28.8% year-over-year to approximately $19.2 million to $20.1 million; and fourth quarter 2020 EBITDA increased by approximately 25.0% to 33.8% year-over-year to approximately $17.0 million to $18.2 million. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “We expect to report top-line revenue improvement in the second half of the year, with sequential quarter-over-quarter growth in both the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Our preliminary fourth quarter performance also demonstrates the significant operating benefits from the actions we took earlier this year to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses and negotiating discounts with landlords, service providers, and partners. Although it is difficult to predict what the impact of COVID-19 will be in the coming months, we remain optimistic that the commercial advertising market will return to more normalized revenue levels as we move further into the year, following broad vaccine distribution.”

CES2021: Technology Is Merely the Plumbing. As the (virtual) convention that reporters are scolded for calling “the Consumer Electronics Show” wraps today, consultant Holland Cooke urges broadcasters to focus on product, not package. Read his analysis here.

First Detroit Sports Talk Show Hosted by Frank Beckmann? Not So Fast… Former longtime Detroit Free Press writer John Smyntek reaches out to TALKERS magazine to let us know that legendary Detroit radio personality Frank Beckmann – who announced his retirement from Cumulus Media’s WJR-AM on Wednesday (it takes effect at the end of March) – was not the first to host a sports talk program on Detroit radio as the press release from WJR claims. Smyntek says, “WXYZ-AM (1270, now WXYT-AM) had the late Dave Diles hosting a daily sports talk and caller dial-in show from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm weeknights starting, I think, in 1967 and running through 1969 or 1970. Then Ron Cameron had a sports call-in format on WXYT-AM under the Chuck Fritz regime for several years in the 1970s, long before Beckmann’s show started.” Smyntek – who retired from the Free Press in 2008 – says Beckmann’s “Sportstalk” program, launched in 1981, was indeed the first sports show to air on WJR-AM.

WSB, Atlanta Talk Star Erick Erickson Is This Week’s Guest on the Harrison Podcast.  One of the rising stars of talk radio, Erick Erickson of WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” He’s one of the most important talk radio figures in the Peach State where, for the past eight years, he’s been hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” a 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on the Cox Media Group heritage station. He also hosts a recently launched, daily three-hour show airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on his own independent network of almost 20 stations stretching across Georgia that many industry observers say is ready to expand nationally. His background is fascinating. Born 45 years ago in Jackson, Louisiana, he was raised between the ages of five and 15 in Dubai where his father worked for Conoco Oil as a production foreman. Returning to the U.S., he received a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and a J.D. degree from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law. He practiced law for six years at a major legal firm in Georgia. He served four years as an elected city councilman in Macon. He was one of the founders of RedState.com which he managed as editor-in-chief for 10 years. He’s been a regular contributor to CNN and FOX News Channel over the years. He’s currently attending a seminary where he is working on earning a theological degree and he’s one of the talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh turns to when he needs someone to fill in. Erickson is a conservative who has not been reluctant to tell his audience the truths he thinks they need to know as opposed to engaging in the daily dance of affirmation and only telling them what they want to hear – especially when it comes to his opinions about President Donald Trump. Don’t miss this extremely timely conversation about the state of talk radio and politics in America today recorded the day after the Capitol insurrection. 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.

Report: Dan Le Batard and Former ESPN Boss John Skipper to Form New Sports Media Company. According to a report by Michael McCarthy at Front Office Sports, former ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and former ESPN chief John Skipper are partnering for a new “politically progressive sports media company” that is “described as the strategic opposite of Clay TravisOutkick.” The Le Batard-Skipper partnership was first reported by the Miami Herald. McCarthy’s piece says that Le Batard and Skipper are seeking talent including former ESPN talent Jemele Hill, Bomani Jones, and Kate Fagan. Hill tells FOS, “We’re trying to figure out the most productive way to work together. Both John and Dan know I have such a deep level of respect for them. So, me working with them again always felt like it was inevitable.” Skipper is currently executive chairman of sports streaming platform DAZN. Hill, in the aftermath of her departure from ESPN, formed her own production company that produces the Vice TV show “Stick to Sports,” and the “Jemele Hill is Unbothered” Spotify podcast.

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit talk station WFDF “910 AM Superstation” announces that former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who served as mayor during the city’s water scandal, joins the station as a talk host. She’ll appear Monday-Friday in the 8:00 am to 9:00 am hour. Adell Radio Group CEO Kevin Adell says that with former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder being criminally charged with willful neglect in conjunction with the Flint water crisis, bringing Weaver aboard is timely. “Mayor Karen Weaver watched this disgraceful water episode unfold firsthand and will have much to talk about as Rick Snyder works his way through our legal system”…..The Armstrong & Getty Show – starring Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announces that QBS Broadcasting’s talk WBQO-FM, Brunswick, Georgia adds the program to its lineup. WBQO program director Paul Andresen says, “There’s a reason Armstrong & Getty’s reputation precedes them. So, when tasked with finding a replacement for Clark Howard, it was a no-brainer. A&G brings a much-needed change of perspective and influx of personality to not only 93.7 WBQO, but our market as a whole. The listeners’ response, from the first show onward, has been nothing short of fantastic and I couldn’t be prouder to have Armstrong & Getty in our on-air lineup.”…..The “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” announces that it has added 23 new affiliate stations in 2021 so far, bringing its affiliate roster to more than 460 stations!

U.S. House Votes to Impeach Trump, Capitol Attack Investigation, States Prep for More Attacks, Social Media and Free Speech, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, WHO Investigating COVID Origin in China, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13). The U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump; the investigation into last week’s attack on the Capitol; states across the nation move to protect their capitals from potential future attacks; the removal of Donald Trump and others from social media platforms and questions about free speech; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the WHO enters China to investigate the origin of the coronavirus; and the record Powerball jackpot were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.