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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

| August 9, 2017

CBS News Radio Appoints Bolton Manager, Affiliate Sales. Most recently a consultant to AT&T/DIRECTV on the syndication of radio shows hosted by Dan Patrick; Rich Eisen; and Joe Buck, Amy Bolton is named manager, affiliate sales at CBS News Radio. “Amy has an unrivaled depth of affiliate sales experience,” CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments. “The relationships she has formed with stations over the years make her an excellent fit for the position. I look forward to the contributions she will make in this new role as we continue to work closely with our affiliates and explore new partnerships.” Bolton declares that, “CBS News Radio is the gold standard in original radio journalism; this is a dream job. I am thrilled to be part of the next phase of this award-winning organization and deliver our affiliates the highest quality programming.” In addition to having previously consulted Cox Media Group news site Rare.us and ABC Radio, Bolton, who grew up in Rome and holds a University of Maryland Bachelor of Science degree in human ecology and marketing, spent nearly six years as senior vice president of talk & news for Westwood One (formerly Dial Global), and ten years as vice president of affiliate sales, news/talk at Dial Global (acquired Jones Radio Network).

Last Call For Dawson. On the Kansas City Chiefs broadcasts as a commentator since 1984, former quarterback Len Dawson will not return to the booth after the 2017 NFL season. The team’s chair and chief executive officer Clark Hunt, son of team founder Lamar Hunt, declares, “Next to my father, few people have had a more lasting impact on the Kansas City Chiefs than Len Dawson. Over the course of his legendary career – first as a player and later as a broadcaster – Len has been a part of every major moment in franchise history. We sincerely appreciate his many contributions to ‘Chiefs Kingdom’ since he arrived as a player in 1962. We look forward to having Len as part of the Chiefs Radio Network for the 2017 season.” Chiefs Radio Network executive producer Dan Israel notes, “It has been a true privilege and honor to have Len at the center of our broadcast team for the last 33 years. His contributions to not only this sport, but our industry, are incredibly profound. I am thankful he will continue to be part of the Chiefs Radio Network this season; he will forever be welcome as a part of our broadcast team family.” Dawson led the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl IV and three AFL championships. “Looking back on my career, I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do,” Dawson comments. “I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues – I am grateful for each of them.” Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, and Dawson are the only three dual-honorees as players and broadcasters in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Cumulus Media Kansas City classic rock KCFX “101 The Fox” is the team’s flagship.

ABC Radio Names Hubbard Country Producer/Reporter. Fittingly based in Nashville, Stephen Hubbard joins ABC Radio as a country producer and reporter. While Hubbard will primarily be reporting for ABC Radio, he will support all ABC News platforms. In a staff memo, ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones notes that award-winning producer Hubbard is “well known in Nashville and around the country world. He will continue to report on all things country including interviewing the genre’s biggest stars. With more than 20 years of experience, Stephen has worked on a variety of projects including CMT specials starring Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert; Great American Country’s ‘Opry Live’; ‘Music City Keep on Playin,’ a benefit concert for the victims of the 2010 Nashville flood; and ‘Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise’ telethon after the 2016 East Tennessee wildfires. He recently interviewed Shania Twain, Thomas Rhett, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, and Brad Paisley. This summer, Stephen worked on ABC Radio’s 4th of July special – ‘Country Family Salute’ – with country star Josh Turner, and ABC Radio’s Memorial Day special – ‘Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.'” A country content contributor to ABC Radio since 2010, Hubbard most recently was a producer for ABC-TV’s Nashville affiliate WKRN-TV (channel 2). Two-time Emmy nominee Hubbard received an Associated Press award for “Best TV Producing in Tennessee.”

Wetherbee Wins Weather Recognition. Owing to his daily forecasts and severe winter weather broadcasts on the Georgia News Network, Envision Radio Networks meteorologist John Wetherbee is the recipient of this year’s GABBY Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for “Best Weather Coverage.” Wetherbee states, “This is so exciting to be recognized by GAB for my weather reporting throughout Georgia and having the ability to continue to grow and succeed in my life-long passion – radio. It is just so cool.” With its weather component, Envision Radio Networks’ EnvisionVirtualServices provides stations up to five daily forecasts each weekday and 24-hour on-call severe weather coverage on a barter basis. Wetherbee’s recognition took place as part of GABCON 2017, a convention for Georgia television and radio broadcasters.

PPM Data – Round Two. Information for the July 2017 ratings period has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Detroit; Seattle; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Denver; Tampa; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.

Townsquare Media Q2 Net Revenue Up 2.6%. Compared to the second quarter of 2016, Townsquare Media’s net revenue increased 2.6%, which is consistent with previously issued guidance. Chairman and chief executive officer Steven Price comments, “We are pleased to report another solid quarter that was in line with our expectations. Our second quarter performance was anchored by our Local Marketing Solutions segment, where revenue increased 4.3% over the prior year, and 4.8% excluding political revenue. Our results in this segment are representative of the continued strength of our local advertiser solutions and the strength our local teams.” Entertainment net revenue and net income were approximately flat. Adjusted EBITDA was also approximately flat, consistent with previously issued guidance. Diluted net income and diluted adjusted net income per share are of $0.20 and $0.21, respectively. In terms of year-to-year comparisons, the company’s net revenue decreased by 1.1%. Conversely, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased by 2.9%. The company repaid $6.7 million of long-term debt and there are year-to-year decreases in entertainment net revenue (-10.2%); net income (-39.4%); and adjusted EBITDA (-5.0%).

NABJ and NAHJ To Hold Combined 2020 Confab. As they did last year in Washington, DC, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) will have a joint convention in 2020. NABJ president Sarah Glover comments, “NABJ is looking forward to hosting another joint convention with NAHJ. Both groups executed a memorable convention experience for our members and the journalism industry last year. We have a lot of momentum to build off of as we head into 2020. It only makes sense to bring black and Hispanic journalists together as we move toward what is shaping up to be a history-making election in 2020.” Meanwhile, NAHJ president Brandon Benavides remarks, “As we move toward returning to a joint convention with NABJ, we will be recognizing the priorities in our programming, special events, and all elements of a conference that our members value most. It is critical that as the two largest journalism associations of color, we not only make an investment into our student journalists, but also provide the best resources to develop talent and make it our mission to create more leadership training opportunities for all of our journalists.”

Demand for Spanish-Language Spots Skyrocketing. Given radio’s reach and growing podcast audiences, digital audio advertising is considered by many to be the single most effective medium to connect with Hispanic audiences. According to Nielsen research, radio reaches more than 92% of Hispanics regardless of language preference. Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price explains his company has produced Spanish radio spots for various clients, but it has been especially busy the last seven months. “We are working with a number of clients to create relevant Spanish-language radio spots that demonstrate an understanding of nuances of the culture and diversity within the Hispanic market.” According to Pew Research, Hispanics are the youngest ethnic group in the United States, while data from Latinum Network indicates ads targeting Hispanics in Spanish significantly increase their interest in purchasing products. Price comments, “We didn’t need research to tell us that thoughtful, creative ads work better – regardless of the language. [Nonetheless], it’s nice to have facts that demonstrate the value of the work we do for our clients. We work with the best Spanish-speaking writers, actors, and sound mixers in the country – the ads are resonating culturally.”

Remembering Glen Campbell. After battling against Alzheimer’s since 2011, singer-songwriter Glen Campbell lost his fight against the disease yesterday (Tuesday, 8/8) in Nashville; the 1968 Country Music Association “Entertainer of The Year” was 81. A rural Arkansas native, Campbell hosted “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” on CBS-TV. A midseason replacement that debuted in January 1969, the series ran until June 1972; Jerry Reed and Anne Murray were among the show’s regulars. In the mid-1960s, Campbell briefly toured with the Beach Boys and he really hit it big in 1967, earning multiple individual Grammy nominations for “Gentle on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” One year later, “Wichita Lineman” reached the Top 5. All three of those singles were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. While continuing to do extremely well on the country charts – more than two-dozen top 10 hits and five songs that reached #1 – Campbell went on to have pop notoriety with “Galveston” and “It’s Only Make Believe.” By the mid-1970s, he again enjoyed considerable success – this time with “Southern Nights” and the often parodied “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Altogether over a six-decade span, the sharecropper’s son and seventh of 12 children, released more than 70 albums and won six Grammys among 20 nominations. He sold 45 million records; had 12 gold albums; four platinum; and one double-platinum. Approximately 80 different Glen Campbell songs reached the country, top 40, or adult contemporary charts, nine ascending to #1. The 2005 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee was in-demand as a session player, featured on the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”; Jan & Dean’s “Dead Man’s Curve,” and Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” (among others). As part of the Wrecking Crew, he played on recordings of artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Nat Cole to Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, and The Monkees. The 2014 film “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” followed Campbell and his family during a farewell tour in the United States, Australia, and Europe as he dealt with his illness. The powerful “I’m Not Going to Miss You” from the film landed an Oscar nomination (losing to “Glory” from “Selma”) and a Grammy nomination (losing to “Let It Go” from “Frozen”). Tim McGraw sang it at the 2015 Academy Awards. Campbell’s appropriately-titled final studio album, “Adios,” was released earlier this year. Donations that will support Alzheimer’s research may be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at Brightfocus Foundation.

After Cutting “Idol” Fox Answers with “The Four.” We’ve seen it unfold countless times in radio. Station executives determine a particular on-air talent is no longer sufficient enough for the salary and they then hold their breath when that personality (or team) crosses the street to join the competition. After a 15-season run on Fox, “American Idol” will surface on ABC midseason with iHeartMedia Los Angeles KIIS “Kiss-FM” morning drive star Ryan Seacrest continuing as host. Yesterday (Tuesday, 8/8), Fox announced it will deliver a new singing competition series – “The Four” – from Armoza Formats and ITV Entertainment. With a tagline of “We start with the best and only get better,” Fox’s “The Four” will not launch until 2018. While the network has yet to announce a specific premiere date or host for “The Four,” the show is not expected to be slotted directly against “Idol” or NBC’s Carson Daly-hosted “The Voice.” Each week, the top four will sing against challengers to retain their slots on the show. A panel of (yet-to-be cast) music experts and personalities will choose the original finalists from auditions. Similar to “American Idol,” viewers will be able to vote from home on four contestants. They get to decide who is brought on the show by voting on streamed auditions, influencing which challengers will take on “The Four.” Fox Broadcasting Company president of alternative entertainment Rob Wade maintains “The Four” (billed as “The Final Four” in Israel, as pictured) is nothing like “American Idol,” categorizing it as the most “pure, clean format” for a singing competition he has ever seen, while Fox Television Group co-chair/chief executive officer Dana Walden opines singing competition series have become “much more about celebrity panelists and less about” turning aspiring singers into stars.

Savannah’s “G-100” Grabs Station of the Year Honors. In a Georgia Association of Broadcasters award ceremony held this past weekend at Jekyll Island, Alpha Media Savannah (Georgia) – Hilton Head (South Carolina) classic hip-hop WXYY “G-100 The Throwback Station” was named “Station of the Year” for “Division Radio A/Large market.” Alpha Media Savannah – Hilton Head vice president and market manager Gigi South points out that “G-100” celebrated its first birthday last month and “winning ‘Station of the Year’ is a major accomplishment. The state of Georgia has many super radio talents. This is a huge honor and we are so grateful to our listeners [as well as to our] staff and Alpha Media, which gives us the tools and celebrates our passion to win.” Program director Amini remarks, “In one year, we have made groundbreaking history. Listeners call, text, find us on social media, and stop us in person just to share their love for the ‘Throwback’ music. From Hurricane Matthew coverage, to collecting toys, to helping kids get fit and perform in school, everything we do is intended to give Savannah the best on-air product and listener experiences.” Meanwhile, station personality Mark “Shark” Ediss was cited as Georgia’s “Best On-Air Personality.” Among persons 12+ in Savannah’s latest (Spring 2017) Nielsen Audio book, “G-100” ranks ninth (4.1, 12+); Cumulus Media urban contemporary WEAS and iHeartMedia CHR WAEV are tied at #1 – each with 8.3 (12+). In Hilton Head’s comparable spring 2017 results, Alpha Media country WUBB is on top with a 6.5 (12+), while WXYY is sixth (2.6, 12+).

Nation’s Capital First Up in Café Mocha “Salute Her” Tour. Launched over seven years ago, 2017 Gracie award winner Café Mocha Radio kicks off its “Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Tour” in just over two weeks (8/25) in Washington, DC. Among those being honored there are White House journalist/author April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks; actress Pam Grier; Grammy winning singer Stephanie Mills; entrepreneurs Germaine Leftridge and Vivian Pickard; and author Joi-Marie McKenzie. The syndicated radio show will have similar award ceremonies and networking events in New York City (9/28); Charlotte (11/4); and Chicago (12/14). This year’s theme, “Redefining What Perseverance Looks Like from the Inside Out,” underscores the importance of women maintaining their inner spirit to find strength. Café Mocha creator and executive producer Sheila Eldridge comments, “Over the years, we have honored more than 300 women. Our honorees demonstrate passion, creativity, and drive to break down barriers in their respective fields, truly redefining what perseverance looks like.” Café Mocha co-host comedienne Loni Love notes, “I am especially looking forward to honoring our incredible unsung heroines, these extraordinary women who are doing so much great work for others and rarely get recognition for their service.”  Café Mocha incorporates urban contemporary music with hot topics and is “radio from a woman’s perspective.” The two-hour program heard in 35 markets features interviews with singers, celebrities, politicians, and those making headlines.

More Music Radio News and Career MovesAfter 14 years with Beasley Media Group, including the last three as chief revenue officer, Heather Monahan departs as the company eliminates her position. “I want to thank my team, partners, clients, and all the amazing people I have known over the years,” she writes on her LinkedIn account. “It has been an emotional few days and I wanted to thank everyone for their love and support.” The Clark University graduate spent four years as a Wilks Broadcasting market manager before joining Beasley as executive vice president of sales in March 2003 ….. Starting next Monday (8/14), Jackie Paige takes over mid-days (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) on Urban One Richmond urban contemporary WCDX “iPower 92.1/104.1.” Operations manager Yonni Rude notes, “Jackie’s talent and positive energy make her the perfect fit for Radio One Richmond.” Paige most recently was at Curtis Media Group Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina urban contemporary WIKS “101.9 Kiss-FM” ….. Two-year WEZL program director Tyler Reese departs the iHeartMedia Charleston, South Carolina country station. Reese previously was music director at Nashville country sibling WSIX “The Big 98” and has worked at similarly-formatted co-owned WKKT “96.9 The Kat,” Charlotte and WMAD “96.3 Star Country,” Madison ….. The new night talent at Entercom Sacramento classic rock KSEG “Eagle 96.9” is Chris McCoy, whose previous experience includes working for nine years in Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey) at adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3.” In addition, McCoy did morning drive at Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” ….. To pay tribute to the passing of Glen Campbell (see the story above), Rick Jackson’s entire three-hour United Stations Radio Networks (USRN) “Country Classics” program on the weekend of August 26 and 27 will be comprised of Campbell’s greatest hits and his story ….. Following a five-year stint as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Greensboro, Rich McMillan departs. He oversaw adult contemporary WMAG; CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM”; FM news/talk WPTI; WTQR “Q104.1 – New Country”; and WVBZ “Rock 105.7 – Man Up.” Prior to his time in Greensboro, McMillan programmed Miami and Birmingham stations for the company when it was known as Clear Channel. Exiting the iHM Greensboro cluster as well are WMAG program director Gary Nolan and WVBZ imaging voice Matt Pencola ….. The third annual, three-hour “Hungry for Hip-Hop” concert presented by iHeartMedia Orlando urban contemporary WTKS-HD2 “104.5 The Beat” takes place in two weeks (8/24) in downtown Orlando and will feature an all-female lineup. “Beat” on-air personality Viva La Koi will host. Proceeds will benefit Pathlight HOME, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and economic opportunities to Central Florida’s homeless ….. Having recently taken a hiatus from programming Sarkes Tarzian Fort Wayne, Indiana adult contemporary WAJI “Magic 95.1,” Dan Baisden returns to radio for part-time/weekend on-air duties at Adams Radio Group’s crosstown, similarly-formatted WWFW “103.9 Sunny FM.”

Thursday, January 22, 2015

| January 22, 2015

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Surpasses 550 Affiliate Mark.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey announces his program is now heard on more than 550 AM/FM affiliate stations and, according to the Ramsey organization, is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners weekly.  “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ is clearly positioned as the third largest talk radio show in the country behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.”  Vice president of Ramsey Media Brian Mayfield comments, “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ continues to grow and make a difference in the radio world, as well as in the lives of our listeners.”  Recently, the Dave Ramsey show experienced upgrades in a few major markets including moving to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm on KTAR-FM, Phoenix and expanding the timeslot to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm KEIB, Los Angeles.  Beginning in February, the show will move to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on KXNT, Las Vegas.

carsonrobNew AM Host and Talent Shuffle at KCMO, Kansas City.  Talent moves will take effect on February 2 at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO, Kansas City.  Current morning drive personality Greg Knapp is moving to afternoon drive and new in the morning slot will be Rob Carson.  At the same time, WMAL, Washington personality Chris Plante will also air on Kansas City on KCMO in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noonplantechris slot.  The rest of the schedule will be: Dave Ramsey from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; Michael Savage from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Mark Levin following Knapp from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and John Batchelor airing from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Cumulus Kansas City SVP and general manager Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thrilled to have two of the industry’s best joining our lineup.  I’m anxious to hear Rob Carson and Chris Plante on our airwaves and I’m sure that Kansas City is going to feel as strongly about kcmo logotheir talent to entertain and inform as I am.  I’m also pleased to have Greg Knapp hosting our afternoons, as his dynamic and in-depth discussions keep me glued to the radio and I know that the local presence that he brings will be outstanding.  These are exciting times here at the broadcast center!”  Carson comments, “This is a real homecoming for me and my family.  We’ve been away from Missouri too long, and it’s a real blessing to get a spot on one of the country’s premiere talkers, KCMO.  I’m excited to join John Dickey, Mike McVay and Mark and [PD] Gary Nolan at Cumulus.”

ppmunitRound Two of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

mcconnelldaveWTOP, Washington’s Dave McConnell Celebrates 50 Years with Station.  WTOP, Washington reporter Dave McConnell began his career with the station on January 18, 1965.  McConnell spent most of his career serving as Capitol Hill correspondent – a title he holds today that makes him the only full-timewtop logo NEW 1-15 congressional correspondent for a local radio outlet in the country.  WTOP news director Mike McMearty relates, “It is part of WTOP lore that while other kids were skipping school to see the Washington Senators play at Griffith Stadium, Dave was skipping school to hear the real Senators debate on Capitol Hill.”  McMearty adds, “Dave McConnell is a class act.  He’s a mixture of hustle, honesty and humbleness.  Dave lets the members of congress express their point-of-view without inserting opinion or commentary.  He is, and has always been known as, an honest broker.  I consider it an honor to have worked with him for more than 20 years of his illustrious career.”  Even after 50 years, McConnell has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Odds & Sods.  Financial talker Ray Lucia inks a deal with BizTV and BizTalkRadio for the companies to exclusively produce and syndicate his programs.  As part of the new agreement, the national radio show expands to two hours airing luciaraylive from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET…..In addition to the almost 400 AM/FM affiliate stations that aired ESPN Audio’s broadcast of the College Football Playoff Championship on January 12, the sports giant reports that the game averaged 69,000 listeners in the average minute across network and affiliate streams.  The ESPN Audio Streaming Network audience (including the ESPN Radio website and mobile app, the SportsCenter mobile app, Tune In Radio, Slacker Radio, and Apple iTunes Radio) grew 103% from last year’s BCS National Championship game. The 69,000 listeners is the third-highest network stream in history, trailing only two 2014 FIFA World Cup matches.

kfbklogoCool Job Opportunity.  Legendary KFBK, Sacramento has an immediate opening for a full-time morning news co-anchor and writer.  Our ideal candidate has strong news broadcasting experience and is able to multi-task and take direction well.  You will work alongside Amy Lewis, our long-term KFBK co-anchor, in a fast-paced, challenging and friendly environment.  Must be an aggressive self-starter who can hit the ground running, cut up sound on the fly, report live from the street or in-house, love big breaking news, write conversationally, and stay on top of social media – all while creating and contributing daily content to the web and Facebook.  You will need to be able to write short, tight copy, adlib well, anchor short-form newscasts or long-form event coverage when necessary, and understand news coverage in the digital/social media age.  Conversational and credible on-air news delivery, creative broadcast news writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively are prerequisites for this position.  You must be able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment, meet deadlines, have a strong knowledge of current events and work positively as part of a team.  For more information and to apply, click here.

wkzoCapitolCovering the State of the State.  WKZO, Kalamazoo broadcast its Wayne Powers morning drive show live from the office of State Rep. Aric Nesbitt at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing yesterday (1/21) the morning after Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address.  The Midwest Communications news/talk station reports that it was able to talk with Michigan lawmakers and leaders from both parties throughout the morning, including Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter as well as local senators and representatives including Senators Margaret O’Brien, Tonya Schuitmaker and John Proos and Representatives Aric Nesbitt, Jon Hoadley, Brandt Iden and Dave Maturen.  WKZO brand manager Jeremy Lawrence comments, “It is such a pleasure to be able to serve our listeners by talking with our leaders at the Capitol.  Being that we are the eyes and ears of the listener, we value our ability to let them know what is happening in our government.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Nesbitt, Maturen, O’Brien, Schuitmaker, Cotter, Lawrence, Midwest Communications VP/Market manager Mike Klein, and (seated) Powers.

State of the Union Address/Obama Tax Plan, ISIS Holds Japanese Men for Ransom, Abortion Legislation Debate, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘American Sniper’ Film Criticism, and the NFL’s Deflategate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21).  Tuesday’s State of the Union Address and President Obama’s tax proposal; the case of the Japanese nationals being held for ransom by ISIS; the GOP’s decision to drop new abortion legislation; the potential candidates for president in 2016; continuing criticism of the film “American Sniper”; and the controversy over deflated footballs used by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.