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Report: The Daily Wire in Talks to Acquire Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. According to a report in The Daily Beast, the conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire – operated by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro with backing from the East Texas billionaire Wilks family – is in talks with Glenn Beck to acquire his TheBlaze news and opinion site. The piece by Betsy Woodruff and Lachlan Markay reports that TheBlaze did not respond to a request for comment but that Shapiro told them, “TheBlaze welcomed us to the space as allies from the beginning, and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships with our allies.” TheBlaze turns eight years old this year and of late has had to cut costs. Reports indicate TheBlaze downsized its staff in 2017 in response to fiscal challenges. Interestingly, the story says the Wilks family was pursuing a purchase of Breitbart but ran into a wall in that effort. Shapiro has hosted and co-hosted talk radio shows, both at KRLA, Los Angeles as part of the morning show and at KTTH, Seattle as solo host. Now, he hosts a podcast program available via The Daily Wire.
PPM Analysis: A Yearlong Look at Spoken Word. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of how news/talk, all-news and sports talk radio performed over the course of 2017 based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian’s report illustrates the high and low 6+ rating marks for stations in all three format categories: news/talk, all-news, and sports talk. In the news/talk format, Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford owned the largest swing – from a high of an 8.8 share in January 2017 to a low of 4.4 in August and the Holiday sweeps. Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia saw the widest swing in that format – achieving an 8 share in November after chalking up a 3.9 share in February. Read the whole report here.
Special Screening of Guardian Angels Film Tonight at Cumulus’ Stage 17 in NYC. There’s a new documentary film out that chronicles the Curtis Sliwa-founded Guardian Angels. It’s called, VIGILANTE: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, and Sliwa’s radio home – 77WABC – is hosting a special screening of the film at the Cumulus Media event space Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 tonight at 6:00 pm. The screening of the film by David Wexler takes place on the 39th anniversary of Sliwa’s inaugural Guardian Angels Safety Patrol into the New York City subway system on February 13, 1979. Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from just 13 members in New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues in more than 140 cities in 14 countries. Sliwa says, “The Documentary gives one an inside look into what it was like to live in New York City from 1979-1992 when crime, crack, and chaos were everywhere. It was my baptism in hell, yet somehow I survived.” Sliwa currently hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show, “Curtis + Cosby,” with Rita Cosby on WABC. In the photo above, Curtis Sliwa (center) is pictured with other Guardian Angels and an actor in a Robocop suit in “the early days” of the Angels.
TALKERS News Notes. Bakersfield market talk show host Inga Barks is joining a new, hyperlocal digital platform designed to serve Kern County, California. Called Kern Cast, the platform’s studios are based at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame building. Barks was most recently hosting a show on Alpha Media’s KNZR, Bakersfield but was let go in January in a budget-related move. She also previously hosted a program on American General Media’s KERN, Bakersfield…..Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting flips WHKT, Portsmouth, Virginia from news/talk to Christian contemporary, due to revenue concerns. The station had been airing a number of syndicated talk hosts – Salem Media’s Dennis Prager, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin – as well as regional host John Fredericks (still heard on the company’s WPMH, Portsmouth)…..FOX Sports Radio reports that its total podcast listens for the network’s Monday through Friday lineup reached a milestone of 10.25 million across all platforms for the month of January, as measured by ART19. The company says the latest benchmark is “the result of record growth across FOX Sports Radio’s weekday programming lineup, including: ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,’ the Doug Gottlieb show, ‘Steve Gorman SPORTS!,’ ‘JT ‘The Brick’ with Tomm Looney,’ the Jason Smith show with Mike Harmon, and the Ben Maller show.” The company says most recent streaming results for FOX Sports Radio also showed impressive gains. The network experienced a 20% year-to-year increase in December 2017, and each of the past four months (September through December) ranked as the most-listened-to months in FOX Sports Radio streaming history…..SiriusXM is planning to air a never-before-heard interview with late comedian Joan Rivers on its Entertainment Weekly Radio channel Thursday (2/15). The special is being hosted by Dan Bucatinsky and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and features PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle discussing the conversation.
Farley, Loudon, and Cooke Discuss Talk Radio Content on RT America. Pictured above (from left to right) are frequent Fox News Channel guest Dr. Gina Loudon, consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke, and radio news pro Jim Farley on Cooke’s “The Big Picture” program discussing “Fake News + Fleeting Attention.” Farley was an ABC and NBC News executive who also managed ratings and billing all-news radio giant WTOP, Washington and tells the viewers he “was inside the Acela corridor bubble.” Dr. Loudon urges “committing at least 5% of news/talk consumption time to people who see things differently.” See the show segment here.
The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12). The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.” Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle. Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced. Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC. iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family. Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum. Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.