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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

| October 12, 2022

WABC’s McGuirk Tribute Airs Today. The day-long remembrance of Bernie McGuirk on Red Apple Media New York news/talk WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” began at 6:00 this morning (Wednesday, 10/12). The 65-year-old McGuirk passed away last Wednesday (10/5) from prostate cancer. For the past four and a half years, he and Sid Rosenberg co-hosted “Bernie & Sid in the Morning.” According to Red Apple Media owner John Catsimatidis, who purchased WABC two years ago, “We are airing this all-day tribute to honor our friend and colleague, who loved New York, radio, and his listeners. We’ll have the opportunity to bid farewell to a wonderful man who reached WABC radio listeners around the world every morning with his unique take on the news.” Red Apple Media/WABC radio president Chad Lopez notes, “Bernie’s observations and analysis of world and local news and politics were not only insightful – they were authentic. His brilliant mind, combined with that New York attitude, [gave] listeners what they wanted – the truth; we will miss him.” News anchor/air personality Charles McCord worked with McGuirk during their years together on “(Don) Imus in the Morning” and will appear this morning in the 9:00 hour. Among others scheduled to be part of the tribute are: New York City mayor Eric Adams; comedian/longtime “Imus” cast member Rob Bartlett; sports talk host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo; former “Imus In The Morning” sports personality Warner Wolf; NBA play-by-play announcer Mike Breen; actor/author Chazz Palminteri; Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean; and WABC host Bill O’Reilly. McGuirk joined WABC in 2007 as “Imus in the Morning” producer/on-air contributor. He’d previously been with Imus at New York’s WNBC and WFAN. In 2016, WABC teamed McGuirk and Rosenberg in mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon), before boosting them to morning drive. Rosenberg reflected on McGuirk with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. Listen to their conversation by clicking here.

Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 PPM survey has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s September 2022 sweep covered August 18 – September 14. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets. Three news/talk outlets are included in West Palm Beach’s top twenty (6+). A four-tenths improvement from August 2022 by iHeartMedia’s WZZR (1.8 – 2.2, 6+) coupled with co-owned WJNO’s half-share dip (1.8 – 1.3, 6+) results in “92.1 Real Radio” (ninth to eighth) overtaking “News Radio 1290” (#9 to #11). Also in that Florida market’s mix is Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WFTL “News Talk 850,” which drops two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #13 to #14, 6+). Although they only yield a combined 5.0 (6+), four Hartford news/talk stations crack the top twenty. Leading that group is Audacy’s WTIC-AM, although “News Talk 1080” logs a full-share deficit from August (4.6 – 3.6, 6+), slipping from eighth to ninth; its internet stream is unchanged in share and market rank (.2 and #20, respectively). Meanwhile, Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut” picks up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0,  #15 to #14, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410 AM & 100.9 FM,” which had been unlisted since April, resurfaces with a .2, (#20, 6+). See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.

Charges Dropped Against Subject Of “Serial” Podcast. Baltimore prosecutors yesterday (Tuesday, 10/11) dropped charges against Adnan Syed in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, a case that was chronicled in the first season of the podcast “Serial.” Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, tweeted, “After the latest round of DNA testing generated results that, like previous rounds of testing, excluded Adnan Syed, he has now been formally exonerated.” A Baltimore judge last month overturned Syed’s murder conviction and ordered him released from prison, where the 41-year-old had spent more than two decades. Circuit judge Melissa Phinn gave prosecutors 30 days in which to decide whether to retry Syed or drop the charges. Syed captured the attention of millions in 2014 when the debut season of “Serial” focused on the case and raised doubts about some of the evidence, including cellphone tower data. Syed served more than 20 years in prison for strangling the 18-year-old Lee. Her body was found weeks later buried in a Baltimore park. More than a decade later, “Serial” revealed little-known evidence and attracted millions of listeners, shattering podcast-streaming and downloading records. Prosecutors failed to tell Syed’s defense attorneys about evidence that would have allowed him to defend himself, including details that established two other people had threatened Lee’s life. In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, the state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, said that recently tested DNA completely exculpated Syed from the crime. She declined to say if any other known suspects may be implicated in the recent DNA testing, saying that the investigation is ongoing.

TALKERS News Notes. Effective next Monday (10/17), Jeff Rowe will join Southern California Public Radio Pasadena-Los Angeles news/talk KPCC and LAist as vice president/programming. Southern California Public Radio chief content officer Kristen Muller comments, “As we reach more audiences, we need to rethink the way we program across multiple platforms. Jeff brings an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mindset – these are critical skills that will be a huge asset.” Co-founder of Okanjo and Zap2it, Rowe has worked at AOL; Journal Communications; Tribune Media; NBC; and VH1. … Three-year KDWN “The Talk of Las Vegas” program director Steve Hoffman exits the Beasley Media Group news/talk station. … College Station, Texas news/talk WTAW celebrated its 100th anniversary last Friday (10/7). The Bryan Broadcasting-owned outlet began as experimental station 5XB in 1914 and was officially licensed as WTAW by the Commerce Department in 1922. Vice president/general manager Ben Downs comments, “When we followed the [Rush] Limbaugh wave into talk in 1989, it was a great day for the station. We still control the 25+ demos, which isn’t bad for a 100-year-old station – even though we don’t look a day over 70.” … Attorney/Corporation For Public Broadcasting board chair Bruce Ramer will be honored tonight (Wednesday, 10/12) with CPB’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” CPB president/chief executive officer Patricia Harrison notes, “Bruce Ramer’s award is in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and guidance given to CPB over the nearly 14 years of his service. He led CPB’s support for innovation, interconnection, infrastructure, and access to content over many platforms. [Bruce] was committed to strengthening local, national, and international public media journalism and editorial integrity. On a meaningful level, he always advanced diversity and inclusion personally and professionally.” CPB vice chair Laura Gore Ross adds, “Bruce’s leadership has strengthened CPB and public media when we needed it most. On his watch, CPB was able to distribute $75 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding and $175 million in CARES Act stabilization funding to public media stations. He has provided wise counsel through thick and thin that’s been felt by all.”

SiriusXM To Open Miami Broadcast Center. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the Miami Broadcast Center venue will feature several radio and recording studios, a 50-seat performance space, as well as office space. SiriusXM president/chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “We are excited to open our Miami broadcast complex and deepen our ties in such a multicultural and entertainment-rich city. Our Miami facility will feature a world-class performance space for our special events. Its artist-first recording studios will be a destination for major stars and emerging personalities to connect with listeners.” SiriusXM’s other facilities include its New York Rockefeller Center headquarters; West Hollywood studios; and studios/offices in Washington, DC and Nashville.

Friday, September 23, 2022

| September 23, 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, “Comes the Fall,” looks back at this past week of 9/19 to 9/23. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Gregg Stebben, talk show host Beamz/Live; Jeff Katz, talk show host, WRVA, Richmond; Jack Heath, talk show host, “The Pulse of NH”; Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Renee Kohanski, M.D., podcast commentator/forensic psychiatrist. 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.

What ‘Serial’ Has Meant to the Audio Industry. The release of Adnan Sayed from prison last week put the investigative podcast “Serial” back in the spotlight. Sayed – convicted of killing his girlfriend Hae Min Lee – was one of the subjects of the first season of the podcast and, as it turned out, the true crime genre would become one of podcasting’s most popular. Eight years ago, radio consultant Bill McMahon of The Authentic Personality wrote a piece about the first season of “Serial,” explaining why the program was so appealing. Today, he says that column also “explained why podcasts containing journalism, news reporting, and storytelling similar to ‘Serial’ are among the most-listened-to podcasts today.” McMahon adds, “This quote from an interview the Nieman Lab conducted with ‘Serial’ creator Sarah Koenig just prior to the launch of ‘Serial’ speaks volumes about how the status quo, conventional wisdom and groupthink that is so pervasive in broadcasting stifles creativity and innovation: ‘For us, that it’s a podcast is so liberating. We can tell it as long as we need to tell it, and we don’t have to worry about it.’” You can read McMahon’s original column published in TALKERS here.

Media Research Council Holds 35th Annual Gala. Pictured above at the Media Research Council’s 35th annual gala in Washington, DC on Wednesday (9/21) are (from l-r): conservative author Andrew Klavan, Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Newsmax TV host and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Epoch TV executive producer Matthew Faraci. The event was titled, “Night of the Unwoke,” and featured speakers Larry O’Connor of WMAL-FM, Washington and Cal Thomas, whose daily commentaries are syndicated by the SRN.

Binnie Media Promotes Czarnecki. One of the nation’s most successful regional media groups, Binnie Media, promotes Michael Czarnecki from director, brand operations to VP of programming for the company’s Maine operations for the company’s New Hampshire news/talk stations branded as “The Pulse of New Hampshire.” Heath Cole continues his role as VP of programming for the company’s New Hampshire operations. Both Czarnecki and Cole will report to company president Massimo Rosati. Binnie Media is New England’s largest locally owned media company with radio, digital and outdoor assets covering Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

iHeartMedia Partners with Neustar for Marketing Attribution. This partnership between iHeartMedia and Neustar, Inc. includes broadcast radio in end-to-end marketing attribution. A press release says the “new solution combines iHeart’s unparalleled audio reach with Neustar’s industry-leading marketing attribution solution to measure consumer engagement and the sales impact of broadcast radio alongside all other advertising channels.” It expands the Neustar Unified Measurement Solution, which spans Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) and Marketing Attribution solution to include the iHeart broadcast radio universe. The release also says that Neustar is the first attribution service to unify the measurement of radio, which reaches over 90% of Americans a month, with all other channels into one platform. This innovation provides critical insights into the incremental contribution the massive reach of broadcast radio has on consumer purchase behavior. iHeartMedia chief data officer and president of revenue strategies Brian Kaminsky says, “The scale and effectiveness of broadcast radio is undeniable. Now with Neustar, we are able to offer brands a new level of granular user-level consumer analysis, to ensure that all media channels –including broadcast radio, are used to optimize their marketing plans and drive the results they are seeking.”

TALKERS News Notes. On yesterday’s edition of “The Todd Starnes Show,” former President Donald Trump was a guest and addressed a number of topics, including the civil suit filed against him, his children and two Trump Organization officers in New York, as well as the “Contract with America” he says Republicans will soon announce…..WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz’s program is named “Best Local Afternoon Radio Show” by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in it’s “The Best” feature for the third consecutive year…..The NBA’s Golden State Warriors sign a multi-year contract extension with Audacy sports talk outlet KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” for the station to continue serving as the team’s flagship radio station. Tim Roye, who is entering his 28th season as the radio voice of the Warriors, will once again handle play-by-play duties. Jim Barnett will continue to join Roye in the booth as color analyst for all road games, with Tom Tolbert handling analyst duties for home games. Audacy San Francisco regional vice president Stacey Kauffman says, “We’ve been so fortunate to give listeners a front row seat to the sounds of three championships over the last decade, and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership with the NBA’s premier franchise.”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 releases the trailer and announces initial guests for “K[no]w Mercy with Stephen A. Smith,” the sports personality’s first podcast. The podcast launches on Monday (9/26) guests will include: Snoop Dogg, Sean Hannity, LL COOL J, Chris Cuomo, and Sue Bird…..Cumulus Media and YAP Media agree to a deal for Cumulus to monetize, market, and distribute YAP Media’s existing and forthcoming podcasts. Joining the Cumulus Podcast Network is YAP Media’s flagship podcast, “Young and Profiting,” hosted by YAP Media founder and CEO Hala Taha. Additional YAP Media podcasts joining the Cumulus Podcast Network include “Creating Confidence with Heather Monahan,” “True Underdog with Jayson Waller,” “A Feminine Impression with Dr. Michelle Daf,” “The Murdaugh Family Murders with Matt Harris and Seton Tucker,” “Chapter a Day Audio Bible read by Pastor John Stange,” and “The Greatness Machine with Darius Mirshahzadeh.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals unveils the second season of “It Was Said,” the podcast franchise that looks back on some of the most powerful, impactful, and timeless speeches in history. Season 2 will feature an all-new lineup of generation-defining speeches from towering figures in history, including: Winston Churchill’s “The Finest Hour,” JFK’s “We Choose to go to the Moon,” Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena,” Margaret Thatcher’s “The Lady’s Not for Turning,” Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die,” and Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day….. National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda is joining fellow Hall of Famer and teammate at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups Tony Meola to host the popular SiriusXM FC afternoon show “Counter Attack.” Wynalda previously hosted “Wynalda Talks Football” on SiriusXM.

The Economy, Inflation, and Fed Interest Rate Hike Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 19-23. The state of the U.S. economy, the high food and gas prices and the Fed’s raising intertest rates by three quarters of a point combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was former President Donald Trump being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James for fraud and the Department of Justice’s classified documents investigation, followed by the Russia-Ukraine War and foreign affairs at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

“Serial” Wisdom

| December 23, 2014

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
CEO

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — I first learned about “Serial” the podcast from my Twitter feed. It was a day I was thinking a lot about the future of radio and audio entertainment. I was feeling pretty pessimistic. The current crop of news and talk programming on radio wasn’t giving me much hope. The headline style news delivered by most radio stations has become a commodity available on demand on multiple platforms. The superficial reports of common crime, ordinary human misfortune, politics and political process that dominate the radio news menu aren’t distinctive, interesting or relevant to the lives of most listeners. Talk programming is limited to conversations about sports and politics from a conservative political perspective. Digital audio initiatives from radio broadcasters are primarily repurposed radio programs offered as podcasts. The lack of imagination, innovation, and variety in audio content created by radio broadcasters left me feeling depressed about the future of the business to which I’ve dedicated most of my professional life.

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