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Friday, August 12, 2022

| August 12, 2022

Pioneering Broadcaster, Anti-Ageism Activist and TALKERS Principal Carole Marks Dies at 86.  The longtime host of the groundbreaking, upper-demo syndicated radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups,” Carole Marks Scott of Mystic, CT passed away this past Sunday (8/7) at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. She was 86. Ms. Marks was the host and founder of the groundbreaking and long-running upper-demo-targeted radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups” and a principal in Talk Media, Inc., the parent company of TALKERS – a partner in both ventures with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and radio executive Shelley McBreairty. Ms. Marks graduated from Oxford School and attended Connecticut College. She had four children. As a newly single mature woman, she went back to school and earned her college degree from the University of New Haven when three of her four children were adults. She found her passion as director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of New London. In that position, Ms. Marks was interviewed in the media about issues concerning senior citizens on WSUB, New London and was invited to start her own radio show, “Senior Focus with Carole Marks” in the mid-nineties. The idea of a radio show aimed at an older demographic was unique at the time, and upon joining forces with Michael Harrison as her partner and co-host, her show was syndicated nationally with a new name, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups.” The show ran for two decades accruing thousands of listeners and establishing Ms. Marks as one of America’s leading experts on upper demographic issues as well as a champion in the battle against ageism.  She waged a relentless campaign on a number of media fronts to make, as she put it, “the lives of the 50-plus generation as meaningful, fulfilling and as productive as possible.” Her mission was to counter negative senior stereotypes and she spoke before civic groups, professional associations, and industry conventions all across the country as a supporter of the group she liked to call “seasoned citizens.” At its peak, “A Touch of Grey” was heard on more than 50 stations across America, including at different times, New York City’s WOR, WABC and WNYM.  Her guests included the biggest names in health care, politics, sports and the arts, including presidents of the United States.  She boldly tackled such problems as the rising cost of prescription drugs, the future of Social Security and Medicare, challenges facing the “sandwich generation” who must take care of young adult children on one side and elderly parents on the other, planning retirement during difficult economic times, the best ways to choose a nursing home, safe and effective ways to diet and exercise, understanding leading edge technology, and countless other subjects. Ms. Marks would often take her show on the road and broadcast live from such diverse places as the United States Senate Office Building, the jungles of Africa, the Taj Mahal, the North American Orient Express, or a glacier in Antarctica. She was proudest of being in the White House press room and on Air Force One with President Obama. She said, “I want people to know that just because you’ve put on a few years doesn’t mean you can’t go out and explore the world and life, and, most importantly, continue to learn and grow.” Travel became a second passion, as she went on worldwide trips to all seven continents and had a map in her kitchen showing all of the places she had visited, including Dharamshala, India where she met the Dalai Lama. In 2004, Ms. Marks found love again and was married for the second time, to J Irving Bird Scott. In 2005. She wrote the book Modern Aging: A Guide for Seasoned Citizens to Achieve Health, Happiness and Purpose (Talkers Books 2005). TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “Carole was one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege to know in my life.  Her role as my friend and business partner were invaluable in contributing to the longevity and success of our media enterprises.  She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, as well as a consequential thought-leader, businesswoman, humanitarian and philanthropist who supported numerous public service organizations and non-profits.” Her business partner Shelley McBreairty adds, “Carole was more than a beloved colleague and source of guidance and inspiration. She treated me and my daughters as a mother and a grandmother. We all love her dearly.” A public celebration of life for Carole Marks Scott will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to The Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street New London, CT 06320, or Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Avenue, New London, CT 06320.

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, “Vic or Perp?” looks back at this past week of 8/8 to 8/12. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College, NJ; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Greta Van Susteren, talk show host, Newsmax TVMartha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and Holland Cooke, media consultant. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. 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 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.

Round Four of July PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM is steady with an 8.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that keeps it locked in the #3 rank, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF is up one-tenth for a 1.8 share good for the #15 rank. Although it sheds 1.5 shares, Emmis’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis remains ranked #2 after posting a 7.9 share. The news/talk battle in Milwaukee flips as iHeartMedia’s WISN leaps into the #1 rank after adding nine-tenths for a 9.9 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ drops 1.8 shares, finishes with a 9.6 share and falls to #2. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville dips seven-tenths for a 6.2 share finish that drags it from #4 to #6, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WLAC rises eight-tenths to a 2.5 share good for the #13 rank. In West Palm Beach, Hubbard Broadcasting’s news/talk WFTL spikes by 2.4 shares for a 3.4 share finish that moves it from #13 to #7, while iHeartMedia’s talk WZZR dips three-tenths to a 2.1 share good for the #10 rank and sister news/talk WJNO rises three-tenths to a 1.7 share and the #11 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

RTDNA Announces 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the national winners of the 2022 Edward R. Murrow Awards in recognition of outstanding work in digital, radio and television journalism in technical and editorial categories. RTDNA president and CEO Dan Shelley says, “The Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in journalism. More than 750 Regional Murrow winners advanced to the national competition, and over the past few months, an expert panel of journalists has meticulously reviewed and deliberated over every entry. That’s why I’m confident in saying today’s winners represent the absolute best of the best. So, let me be the first to say congratulations to our newest National Edward R. Murrow Award winners.” RTDNA chair Allison McGinley adds, “Thank you to every journalist who played a role in the pieces that were submitted. Not everyone can be a Murrow Award winner, but all of you make a difference in your communities. Thank you for the work you do.” See all the winners here.

LATimes: No One Listens to Sports Talk Radio in L.A. Why the People in Charge Aren’t Worried. Los Angeles Times writer Bill Shaikin looks at the question of why Los Angeles – of all the major markets – has the lowest listenership to sports talk radio, according to Nielsen Audio ratings. In the piece, Shaikin talks to WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” afternoon drive hosts Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti – and others – about why East Coast cities like Boston and Philadelphia have huge sports talk listener audiences while Los Angeles pales in comparison. Read his story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The new permanent host of FOX News Channel’s “FOX News Sunday” program is Shannon Bream. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says Bream – the first woman to host the 26-year-old program – will start on September 11. She will continue as the network’s chief legal correspondent. Scott says, “Shannon is an outstanding journalist, reporter and anchor who has cultivated a strong and enduring relationship with the FOX News Media audience.”…..The National Sports Network is partnering with in USA Radio Network to offer a slate of NCAAfootball games for radio stations. Beginning the schedule this season is the September 3 game Alabama vs Utah State. Other September games include Tennessee at Pitt and Oklahoma at Nebraska. See the whole schedule here…..iHeartMedia Nashville is presenting the 20th annual Wine on the River event on September 10. This year, the funds raised will go to The DISTRICT’s initiative 2ndavestrong, which helps restore the vitally important historic district of 2nd Avenue. The initiative was created in response to the damage resulting from the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville in 2020. News/talk WLAC and its sister stations are promoting the event…..WBUR, Boston unveils its fall season for CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center, “a state-of-the-art live event venue for cutting-edge conversations, adventurous art and innovative ideas. Bringing WBUR’s journalism alive on stage, CitySpace conversations feature some of the nation’s leading thinkers on timely topics such as the changing media landscape, the state of national politics, climate change and the challenges of American motherhood.”

FBI Raid/Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 8-12. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago as well as his legal battle with the State of New York combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics and the week’s primary elections, followed by urban crime, gun control, and policing issues at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

July 2022 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Four

| August 12, 2022

July 2022 PPM Data – Information for the July 2022 survey period has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford.

Nielsen Audio’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20.

TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty.

Cited as well are each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are June 2022 – July 2022 (6+).

AUSTIN

News/Talk: Waterloo Media-operated KLBJ-AM “News Radio” 5.2 – 3.2, -2.0, #7 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” 1.8 – 1.5, -.3, #18 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Texas-owned KUT 5.9 – 5.8, -.1, third to fourth

Number One 6+: Waterloo Media-operated adult hits KBPA, seventh month in a row, 8.7 – 10.1, +1.4

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: adult hits KBPA (+1.4)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: news/talk KLBJ-AM (-2.0)*

*Represents the largest June 2022 – July 2022 decrease (6+) of any station from these 12 PPM-markets

RALEIGH

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WTKK “106.1 FM Talk” flat at 8.0, repeats in third-place

Curtis Media Group-owned WPTF “News Radio 680” 1.7 – 1.8, +.1, #17 to #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “99.9 FM The Fan” 1.9 – 1.2, -.7,  #14 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-owned WUNC 7.7 – 8.1, +.4, fourth to second

Number One 6+: Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL, fifth successive month 9.4 – 10.2, +.8

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase (Tie): classic rock WRDU and regional Mexican WYMY (+.9)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease:  urban AC WFXC (-1.1)

INDIANAPOLIS

News/Talk: Emmis’ WIBC “93.1 FM Indy’s Mobile News” 9.4 – 7.9, -1.5, locked in second-place

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Emmis-owned WIBC-HD2 “The Fan” 2.8 – 2.4, -.4, #12 to #14

iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Fox Sports 1260” flat at .3, #21 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting-owned WFYI 4.0 – 4.2, +.2, tenth to ninth

Number One 6+: Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK, seventh successive month, 12.6 – 11.4, -1.2

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: country WFMS (+1.4)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: news/talk WIBC (-1.5)

MILWAUKEE

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WISN “News Talk 1130” 9.0 – 9.9, +.9, third to first

Good Karma Brands-owned WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” (Brewers) 11.4 – 9.6, -1.8, first to second

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Good Karma Brands-owned WKTI “ESPN Milwaukee” steady at .9, #17 to #15

iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game” .8 – .9, +.1, #18 to #15

Audacy’s WSSP “1250 AM The Fan” .8 – .7, -.1, #18 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Wisconsin-owned WUWM 4.2 – 4.4, +.2, repeats in ninth-place

Number One 6+: news/talk WISN, first month, 9.0 – 9.9, +.9

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: classic rock WKLH (+1.1)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: news/talk WTMJ (-1.8)

NASHVILLE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” 6.9 – 6.2, -.7, fourth to sixth

iHeartMedia-owned WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” 1.7 – 2.5, +.8, #16 to #13

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” flat at 2.1, #13 to #15

Cromwell Radio Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” .9 – .8, -.1, remains at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM 5.4 – 5.1, -.3, eighth to ninth

Number One 6+: Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK, seventh month in a row, 9.8 – 10.4, +.6

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: classic rock WNRQ (+1.4)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: country WKDF (-1.5)

PROVIDENCE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & WEAN “News Talk 630 AM & 99.7 FM” 4.6 – 4.0, -.6, sixth to seventh

iHeartMedia-owned WHJJ “News Radio 920” .6 – .7, +.1, #17 to #16

Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790” .2, #20 (unlisted in June 2022)

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WVEI “Sports Radio 103.7” 3.8 – 3.7, -.1, locked in eighth-place

Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” 3.3 – 2.8, -.5, ninth to tenth

Public Radio News/Talk: WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 2.9 – 3.2, +.3, tenth to ninth

Rhode Island Public Radio’s WNPN 2.3 – 2.5, +.2, #12 to #11

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia rock WHJY, sixth straight month, 11.5 – 10.0, -1.5

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: classic hits-oldies WWBB (+1.3)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: rock WHJY (-1.5)

NORFOLK

News/Talk: Sinclair’s WNIS “News Talk AM 790” 3.3 – 3.4, +.1, locked in tenth-place

News: iHeartMedia-owned WNOH “BIN 105.3 Because Truth Matters” .3 – .4, +.1, stays at #20

Sports Talk: Max Broadcast Group’s WVSP “94.1 ESPN” 1.2 – 1.6, +.4, repeats at #18

Sinclair’s WTAR “Sports Radio 850” .3 – .4, +.1, continues at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: Audacy urban AC WVKL, seventh month in succession, 10.0 – 9.7, -.3

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase (Tie): adult contemporary WWDE and hot AC WPTE (+.7)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: rock WNOR (-.7)

JACKSONVILLE

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM “104.5 Jacksonville’s News & Talk” 9.2 – 8.1 -1.1, second to third

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Cox Media Group-owned WOKV-AM “ESPN Jacksonville 690 AM” .6 – .5, -.1, #19 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: WJCT, Inc.’s WJCT 3.1 – 2.8, -.3, flat at #11

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia country WQIK, first month, 8.7 – 10.2, +1.5

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase:  country WQIK (+1.5)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: news/talk WOKV-FM (-1.1)

WEST PALM BEACH

News/Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WFTL “News Talk 850” 1.0 – 3.4, +2.4, #13 to #7

iHeartMedia’s WZZR “92.1 Real Radio” 2.4 – 2.1 -.3, eighth to tenth and cluster-mate WJNO “News Radio 1290” 1.4 – 1.7, +.3, #12 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” .6 – .4, -.2, #15 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board’s WLRN 3.0 – 2.4, -.6, seventh to eighth

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF, seventh month in succession, 8.9 – 9.7, +.8

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: news/talk WFTL (+2.4)**

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease (Tie): adult contemporary WOLL; urban AC WMBX; and public radio news/talk WLRN (-.6)

**Represents the largest June 2022 – July 2022 increase (6+) of any station from these 12 PPM-markets

GREENSBORO

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WPTI “News Talk 94.5” flat at 5.8, seventh to eighth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Wake Forest University’s WFDD 2.5 – 2.2, -.3, repeats at #12

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-owned WUNC 1.1 – 1.6, +.5, stays at #14

Number One 6+: Audacy urban AC WQMG, seventh month in a row, 11.0 – 10.2, -.8

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: country WPAW (+1.8)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: classic rock WKRR (-.9)

MEMPHIS

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WREC “News Talk 600 AM” 3.0 – 4.0, +1.0, #11 to #8

Cumulus Media-owned WKIM “News/Talk 98.9, The Roar of Memphis” unchanged at .7, remains at #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WMFS “Sports Radio 92.9” 3.0 – 3.1, +.1, repeats at #11 and WMFS’ internet stream .6 – .5, -.1, stays at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Mid-South Public Communications-owned WKNO 1.9 – 1.5, -.4, #16 to #17

Number One 6+: Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO, seventh successive month, 13.4 – 12.5, -.9

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: urban AC KJMS (+1.1)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: gospel WHAL (-1.5)

HARTFORD

News/Talk: Audacy’s WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” 5.3 – 4.9, -.4, repeats in eighth-place and WTIC-AM’s internet stream .2 – .6, +.4, #21 to #17

Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut” .6 – .4, -.2, #18 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WUCS “97.9 ESPN” .8 – .7, -.1, #15 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: Connecticut Educational Communications-owned WNPR 7.5 – 7.9, +.4, second to fourth

New England Public Media’s WFCR .4 – .2, -.2, flat at #20

Number One 6+: Audacy adult contemporary WRCH, 29th month in a row, 12.0 – 11.0, -1.0

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Increase: hot AC WTIC-FM (+2.2)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022 Decrease: alternative WMRQ (-1.1)

Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

| August 3, 2022

Testimony in Damages Phase of Alex Jones Sandy Hook Case in Texas Wraps. Plaintiffs in the Texas suit against InfoWars chief Alex Jones had won their defamation case and yesterday testimony in the damages phase of the trial wrapped up. They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages of $150 million for Jones’ false claims that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a staged event and their children were “crisis actors.” Plaintiffs testified that they have been threatened and harassed for years by Jones’ followers. The case, reported here by CNN, is being complicated by Jones’ attempt to file for bankruptcy for his Free Speech Systems (parent of InfoWars) which plaintiff attorneys claim is an attempt to hide his money from the courts. Plaintiff attorneys also say that Jones has drawn $62 million in assets from Free Speech Systems over the past two years in an attempt to hide assets from the courts. Jones was also found liable for damages in a Connecticut court and jury selection for the damages phase of that trial began yesterday.

Wayne Allyn Root Expands Television Presence. Las Vegas-based talk host Wayne Allyn Root, host of the “Wayne Allyn Root: Raw & Unfiltered” program syndicated by USA Radio, announces he’s launching a new, daily video program on the Mike Lindell TV platform. The program is to broadcast at 7:00 pm ET and is tentatively set to start on August 15. Root also promises another new show – a video and audio podcast – to be announced in the near future. He comments, “Why is my brand exploding? The American people have woken up. They want real news and raw truth. I hold nothing back. I just give my opinions and tell raw truth. I don’t sugar coat it or worry about who I offend. Truth is truth. That’s the only way we’re going to save the greatest nation in world history, ever blessed by God. With truth, action and courage.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Newsmax-syndicated “Rob Carson Show” adds new affiliates as WJFN-AM, Norfolk, Virginia (part of the John Fredericks Radio Network) puts the program in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Also, Lotus Communications KVI, Seattle adds “The Rob Carson Show Weekend” program to its Sunday schedule. Newsmax launched the program into syndication 10 months ago and it is now heard in 19 markets across the country…..Milwaukee talk radio host Dr. Ken Harris is of three radio personalities among the numerous journalists and broadcasters who will serve as a members of the broadcast team for the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s debates for the state’s gubernatorial and senate races. The organization has been producing the debates for the past 32 years. Dr. Harris is the afternoon host at Good Karma Brands’ talk WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee. Also on the team is Brad Williams, anchor/reporter at Mid-West Family’s news/talk WIZM-AM, La Crosse and Jonathan Krause, director of multimedia journalism at Woodward Radio Group in Appleton.

INTERESTING – A Talk Radio Listener Wrote to TALKERS on Facebook: “Can I give your industry a clue? Lots of people still listen to the radio every day at work. You think because nobody calls the station anymore that you have no listeners. Businesses nowadays have all their employees under video surveillance and if they see you on the phone you are subject to disciplinary action. We still hear you, but we can no longer interact with you.”

RIP Vin Scully. In recognizing the passing of the legendary Dodgers play-by-play man, consultant Holland Cooke writes: “He was the voice of the Dodgers, from Jackie Robinson to Clayton Kershaw. Though LA listeners knew him best, fans everywhere remember his historic World Series calls. 1988 Game 1 was one for the ages. Working solo for decades as two- or three-voice broadcast teams became the norm, Vin Scully sounded like he was watching the game sitting next to you. The Athletic called him ‘the solitary voice emanating over the airwaves. He was renowned for his spellbinding monologues, his folksy wisdom and his sense of the moment — some of Scully’s most famous calls revolved around silence, his usage of the crowd to tell a story that words could not justify.’”

Public Radio Syndication Pioneer Larry Josephson Dies at 83. The Washington Post has the obituary here for longtime public radio personality, producer and syndicator Larry Josephson, who passed away on July 27 at age 83. A computer engineer by trade, he joined the volunteer staff at fledgling public radio outlet WBAI, New York in the mid-1960s. He quickly transitioned to the morning drive host. As the Post notes, Josephson “went on to create five decades of public radio programs, reviving the popular and influential “Bob & Ray” comedy team for a new generation of fans, hosting a nationally syndicated series of discussions between conservative thinkers and an argumentative but charming liberal (himself), and producing marathon readings of James Joyce’s Ulysses and a documentary history of the Jews.” He built a radio studio in a bedroom of his Upper West Side apartment from which he would produce his own shows and a number of other public radio programs.

Pelosi Taiwan Visit, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Abortion Laws, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, and Vin Scully Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/2). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s reaction; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation over the nominees for president in the 2024 race; the abortion laws being enacted in various states in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade; the high price of gasoline and food and the ManchinSchumer authored Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the global economic impact; and legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

| August 2, 2022

Townsquare Media Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 13.6%. For the second quarter of 2022, Townsquare Media is reporting net revenue of $121.9 million, an increase of 13.6% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $4.9 million, a decrease of $5.2 million from Q2 of 2021. Townsquare’s financial data is broken in to three primary segments: Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions, Digital Advertising, and Broadcast Advertising. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment includes its subscription digital marketing solutions business, Townsquare Interactive. The Digital Advertising segment, marketed externally as Townsquare Ignite, includes digital advertising on the company’s owned and operated digital properties and its digital programmatic advertising platform. The Broadcast Advertising segment includes its local, regional, and national advertising products and solutions delivered via terrestrial radio broadcast, and other miscellaneous revenue that is associated with the broadcast advertising platform. The Subscription Digital Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue rose 13.7%, the Digital Advertising segment’s net revenue was up 25.4%, and the Broadcast Advertising segment’s net revenue rose 1.0%. Company CEO Bill Wilson states, “I am proud to share that the Townsquare team delivered another quarter of strong revenue and profit growth, and in doing so, we achieved all-time record highs for both net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. Our performance clearly demonstrates the strength and differentiation of our digital businesses and our legacy broadcast business. Townsquare’s second quarter net revenue increased year-over-year by 14%, exceeding our guidance range, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 7% year-over-year, meeting our guidance range. In addition, our digital revenue growth accelerated from the first quarter (Q1 +16% year-over-year), with second quarter total digital revenue increasing 21% year-over-year. Our strong top-line growth, margin profile, and cash generation characteristics have contributed to the reduction of our net leverage, now at a historical low of 4.65x as of June 30th, including the repurchase and retirement of $19 million of our Senior Secured Notes at or below par in Q2. We are also pleased to announce that we are raising our FY 2022 guidance following the close of the Cherry Creek acquisition on June 17th. Our updated full-year guidance reflects the ongoing momentum of our business and the strength of our performance to date, fueled by our differentiated digital platform. As a Digital First Local Media Company focused principally on markets outside of the Top 50 in the United States, we have a resilient digital growth engine supported by subscription digital marketing solutions, with a large addressable market and limited competition. As we move forward, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue at strong margins, reaching our digital revenue target of at least $275 million in 2024. With half of our total revenue and profit coming from digital today, it is our belief that over time as digital continues to meaningfully grow, Townsquare should and will be afforded a sum-of the-parts valuation that our digital assets deserve.”

70 Years of WGN-AM, Chicago Audio Archived at Northwestern University. As the result of a gift from WGN-AM, Chicago’s parent company Nexstar Media Group, a 70-year swath of the radio station’s audio archive now resides at Northwestern University Libraries in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives. The station says, “The archive, with materials covering 1941 to 2011, includes more than 15,000 items, primarily magnetic media (open reel tapes, compact cassettes, continuous-loop “carts,” U-matic videocassettes and VHS tapes) as well as other media such as grooved discs, CDs and minidiscs. The bulk of the audio dates to the 1980s and 1990s, a period of innovation and surging popularity for the station.” Scott Krafft is curator of special collections at Northwestern and he says that the archive contains thousands of hours of audio that will need to be cataloged and, where necessary, digitally preserved before they can be made publicly available. He adds, “It’s a remarkable collection that represents a significant sampling of Chicago history, including local and national news. In addition, the voices of WGN Radio’s most popular programs are represented here, making this an important archive for the history of the entire field of radio broadcasting.” WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle comments, “Given the long and storied connection between WGN Radio and Northwestern University, it is most fitting that this audio collection, drawn out of 70 years of our broadcast history, will be under their care. While digitizing it will be a substantial undertaking for the Northwestern Libraries, ultimately, this will be a permanent and invaluable repository and resource for years to come. We trust their expertise and are proud they are the caretakers in this endeavor.”

Triton Digital Streaming Ranker for June 2022 Released. The monthly ranking of the top-performing streaming audio stations has been released for the month of June by Triton Digital. The ranking is based on Average Active Sessions which is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period. In the period of 6AM-12AM Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is far and away the #1 streamer again this month with 301,251 Average Active Sessions. Continuing in the #2 spot this month is NPR Member Stations (72,476 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (68,570 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,562 AAS). Other streamers of note in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,663 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,151 AAS), and Salem Communications at #11 (8,677 AAS). See the complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTMJ, Milwaukee air personality Jane Matenaer, who exited the station last month after six and a half years with the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet, is staying with the company as producer and news reporter for sister progressive talk WAUK-AM/W266DR, Waukesha “The ‘Sha 101 FM” on the “As Goes Wisconsin” early afternoon program hosted by Kristen Brey…..Cumulus Media appoints Derek Falter VP/market manager for its Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan markets that include sports talk WJRW-AM, Grand Rapids “The Ticket” and seven music-formatted stations. Falter, who was most recently regional VP for Curtis Media Group, comments, “I’m beyond excited about the opportunity the leadership team at Cumulus Media is giving me to work alongside the dynamic crews in Grand Rapids and Muskegon! Thanks to Mary Berner and Bob Walker for bringing me back to a part of the country that is so meaningful to my family.”

Al-Zawahiri Killed, Pelosi’s Asia Trip, Biden’s Climate/Health Bill, Manchin-Schumer Bill, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, January 6 Sentencing, Deadly Kentucky Floods/Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1). 9/11 orchestrator Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed in drone strike in Kabul; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan and China’s threatening response; the fate of Joe Biden’s climate and health bill; the Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer-authored Inflation Reduction Act; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; Guy Reffit is sentenced to seven years in prison for his part in the January 6 Capitol attack; the deadly Kentucky floods and threats of more rain to the region plus the ongoing wildfires in Northern California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

| July 26, 2022

WKNR Contest Puts $30,000 Ad Campaign Up For Grabs. This marks the third consecutive year that Good Karma Brands sports talk WKNR “850 ESPN Cleveland” will give away a $30,000 WKNR advertising schedule to one local business. To qualify for “Moving Business Forward,” the establishment must be owned by a veteran, minority member, or woman. The promotion runs through this Friday (7/29) and is open to Northeast Ohio businesses incorporated and active for at least two years with annual revenue under $15 million in fiscal year 2021. Entrants must submit an under 300-word statement saying why their business deserves to win. Judging criteria will be on passion for the business; innovation during – and response to – the COVID-19 pandemic; employee loyalty; impact on business’ neighborhood/community; and overall business culture. According to Good Karma Brands Cleveland vice president/market manager Amy Crossman, “We are excited to partner with Keybank and the Cleveland Cavaliers to continue this powerful program for the local business community. We look forward to connecting our passionate sports fans with these deserving Cleveland-based businesses to help them thrive in the future.” The winner will have use of a private suite for one Cavs game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. WKNR will buy $2,500 in gift cards, divided among veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses, to be given away throughout the year.

NAB Appoints Hall to Leadership Foundation Board. Talk host/journalist/producer/author Tamron Hall is appointed to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Leadership Foundation. In addition, Hall assumes the newly-created position of industry ambassador, where she will work with NABLF on campaigns and fundraising efforts. NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke comments, “Tamron Hall exemplifies the values of NABLF through her commitment to service, advocacy, and diversity. Her strong record of public service and leadership make her uniquely-qualified to serve as a champion for the Foundation and for broadcasting. We look forward to her partnership and working with her to make our industry better.” Hall adds, “I am so excited to help the NAB Leadership Foundation continue its mission of attracting and developing the next generation of innovative broadcast executives. More than ever, we need to ensure that the broadcast industry has a pipeline of future leaders that reflect our diverse audiences. It’s been an honor to work with the Foundation in the past; I look forward to furthering this work as a member of the Board.” As industry ambassador, Hall will help NABLF honor broadcast radio and television stations’ community service efforts through the Foundation’s annual Celebration of Service to America Awards, which she hosted two years ago.

KO’s “Countdown” Continues as an iHM Podcast. Beginning August 1, former longtime ESPN and MSNBC anchor; author; and three-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner Keith Olbermann will launch a daily iHeartMedia podcast series. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will include a news-driven mix featuring a “Special Comment” political analysis and his popular MSNBC “Worst Person In The World” segment. As part of the podcast, the one time sports anchor at Los Angeles all-news outlet KNX will do a regular sports bit, as well as a daily call to help a suffering dog. In a Wall Street Journal interview this week, Olbermann declares that podcasts have, “replaced radio and to a large part television. Why not present something that is there every day for people? My goal is that you’ll be able to listen and get everything that happened. It won’t be, ‘here we are reacting to last week’s news.’ I’m doing the work for the work. I stopped predicting my next career development around 1997.” Former “Today” anchor Katie Couric and Fox News host Megyn Kelly launched post-television audio broadcasting careers. Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien signed a deal with SiriusXM earlier this year to start a podcasting venture. Olbermann covered the 1980 Olympics “Miracle on Ice” and anchored the 2009 Super Bowl pre-game show.

Hobbs To Helm MundoNow’s Óyenos Audio. Multicultural podcasting veteran Stephen Hobbs is named chief audio officer of MundoNow’s Latino podcast network, Óyenos Audio. Hobbs will oversee the development of new original scripted series and audio entertainment concepts that will focus on topics including true crime and inspirational stories. MundoNow chief executive officer Rene Alegrias remarks, “Latinos expect smart, highly sophisticated podcasts that provide a culturally-accurate connection to their heritage. Óyenos will provide this and it will be driven by the renowned Stephen Hobbs. In the world of multicultural podcasting, Stephen’s caliber and experience is unmatched.” MundoNow chief revenue officer/partner Andrew Polsky notes, “I immediately recognized the impact this platform can make in expanding meaningful podcasting for the underserved bilingual/bicultural market. This impact will be maximized with the hiring of Stephen. I’ve worked with him before on multiple brand partnership executions. I’m excited to collaborate with him again to not only elevate Óyenos, but the offering of Latino streaming content as a whole.” Hobbs states that bilingual digital media company MundoNow, recently rebranded from Mundo Hispanico, is “exceptionally well-positioned to become a leader in multicultural podcasting. It has the audience, it has the growth strategy under superior leadership from Rene and Andrew, and it has the production capacity. My job is to create content that will have listeners on the edge of their seats, or perhaps making an emotional connection.” Hobbs co-founded reVolver Podcasts; was Univision’s vice president of podcasts and experiential; and during his three-year tenure at Spanish Broadcasting Systems launched AIRE Radio Network. MundoNow generates ten million unique visitors each month, along with 70+ million pageviews and more than a quarter-billion served ad impressions.

TALKERS News Notes. In a Facebook post, Sammy Simpson reveals, “I am going to be transitioning out of the brand/content manager role at Capitol Broadcasting [Raleigh]. The company has started the search for a new sports [talk] program director and I would encourage you to apply or help spread the word if interested in a truly great opportunity.” Simpson joined Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh two years ago to oversee sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan”; sports talk WCMC-HD2 “Buzz Sports Radio”; and sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket.” The cluster also includes adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” and triple A WCLY “That Station.” …  Meanwhile, in another sports talk-related Facebook post, we learn that Waterloo Media Austin flips Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.2, #22, June 2022, 6+) to sports talk as “102.7 ESPN Austin.” In addition to ESPN programming, the on-air lineup will include: Jason Dick and CJ Morgan (from alternative cluster-mate KROX); Ed Clements (from co-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM); and Bryan Bymark (from rock cluster-mate KLBJ-FM). … Per USA Today‘s Mike Organ, Nashville media personality Mark Howard has died at the age of 65. In 2004, Howard became co-host of  “The Wake Up Zone” on Nashville sports talk WGFX “The Zone 104.5”; he left the show in 2020. The Connecticut native most recently worked as a part-time host at cross-town Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT-FM “The Game 102.5.” Howard spent several years hosting a Tennessee Titans post-game show and co-hosted Nashville Predators pre-game and post-game programs. … The first five recipients of the Friends of Georgia Radio’s “Georgia Radio Legends” honors are: Media Ventures Partners founder (the late) Charles Giddens; Georgia Association of Broadcasters president/National Alliance of State Broadcasters Association president Bob Houghton; Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB legislative reporter Sandra Parrish; Atlanta Public Schools public radio news/talk WABE host Lois Reitzes; and University of Georgia radio studio host/WSB-AM & WSBB director of marketing & research Neal “Hondo” Williamson. They will be recognized at a Jeff Foxworthy-hosted event next month (8/27) in Alpharetta.

Podtrac Releases Weekly Podcast Data. Tracking data of podcasts for Podtrac-measured shows indicates that downloads are down 9% (July 18 – 24) over the previous week, but up 53% over the corresponding period last year. All categories are down week-to-week, with “History” and “Society & Culture” showing the most significant week-to-week decline (-12%). Meanwhile, “Health & Fitness” registers the strongest year-to-year growth, a robust +179%. Across all Podtrac-measured podcasts, download growth (July 19, 2021 – July 24, 2022) was up 53%, while week-over-week download growth (July 18 – 24, 2022) was off 9%. For the 52-week period (July 19, 2021 to July 24, 2022), “Health & Fitness” is +179%; “Comedy” is +100%; “Sports” is +64%; “True Crime” is +54%; “Science” is +52%; “Business” is +51%; “News” is +43%; “Society & Culture” is +39%; “History” is +32%; and “Arts” is flat. Week-over-week download dips (July 18 – 24, 2022) included: -12% (“History”); -12% (“Society & Culture”); -10% (“News”); -10% (“Sports”); -10% (“True Crime”); -9% (“Science”); -7% (“Business”); -7% (“Comedy”); -6% (“Arts”); and -6% (“Health & Fitness”).

SiriusXM, NFL Extend/Expand Their Broadcast Agreement. Under terms of the new five-year extension, SiriusXM becomes the exclusive third-party audio provider of every National Football League game across North America. NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp remarks, “SiriusXM continues to be an important part of the NFL family. [It provides] fans access to live game audio, as well as all news and information around their favorite teams.” SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “The popularity of the NFL, and the passion of their fans, is extraordinary. Since 2004, the NFL has been an important component of SiriusXM’s programming lineup as we deliver those fans exceptional access to all their favorite teams. We couldn’t be more pleased to now be expanding our relationship with the league, ensuring our listeners will continue to get comprehensive access to the NFL.” Subscribers will continue getting access to every NFL game through Super Bowl LXI (2027) on SiriusXM radio and on the SXM App. The SXM App offers 32 NFL team channels, each dedicated to carrying the official radio broadcast for each NFL team. The satcaster will offer additional team-focused content, including coaches shows, and press conferences to subscribers.

America Amplified “Election 2022” Launches This Week. Funded by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, the America Amplified “Election 2022” initiative helps public media stations in 25 states, including Michigan Radio, ensure that citizens are properly informed to participate in this fall’s local, state and congressional elections. Corporation For Public Broadcasting president/chief executive officer Pat Harrison comments, “Voting is the foundation of a democracy. We want to ensure that all eligible citizens have the information they need to exercise their right to vote. With more than 1,500 locally managed and operated stations, public media is ideally situated to engage all citizens. America Amplified’s listening-first approach will help build trust in the process.” Michigan Radio program director Matt Shafer Powell remarks, “Joining America Amplified gives Michigan Radio the chance to build on our long-standing commitment to engaging and informing our community. We are excited to bring additional resources to better understand what our communities need to know about election processes and election security.” Among the initiative’s community engagement activities is an online tool that allows the public to submit questions related to the election voting process. Questions will be answered using nonpartisan election information sources.