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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

| April 13, 2022

Cindy Rollison to Lead Cumulus Tri-Cities, Tennessee. Sales and management pro Cindy Rollison returns to Cumulus Media to serve as vice president and market manager for the Tri-Cities, Tennessee station group that includes news/talk WJCW-AM and sports talk WXSM-AM plus two music brands. Rollison takes over for Debbie Caso, who is retiring after 43 years in the market. Rollison served as VP and market manager for Cumulus’ former station group in Blacksburg, Virginia from 2007-2018. She’s been serving as regional marketing consultant for Mel Wheeler, Inc. Radio and Digital Advertising since 2019. Cumulus regional VP Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thankful to Debbie Caso for making such a valuable contribution to the community and company for so many years and wish her much happiness in her retirement. At the same time, I’m very pleased that we have someone of Cindy Rollison’s caliber and experience joining our team. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work alongside Cindy again, after many successful years working together with our cluster in Blacksburg. I’m looking forward to many successes together.”

 

Justin Schaflander Named Director of Sales for ‘ESPN LA.’ Radio sales pro Justin Schaflander is named director of sales for Good Karma Brands’ sports talk KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN LA 710 AM.”  He was most recently a region president with iHeartMedia. In the early 2000s, Schaflander was a director of sports for CBS, running the Dodgers Radio Network. He says, “I’m thrilled to join ESPN LA and Good Karma Brands. To return to LA, work with some of the most iconic brands in sports and have it wrapped up in Good Karma Brands’ culture makes this a bucket list experience! I would like to thank the team for making this process and transition seamless and fun, and I can’t wait to start learning and working with this special group of teammates.” Good Karma Brands acquired “ESPN LA 710 AM” and “ESPN 1050 AM in New York” earlier this year. The company also took over the agreement to perform ESPN’s obligations under the Local Marketing Agreement for WEPN-FM “98.7 ESPN” in New York.

 

Kidney Transplant a Life-Changing Event for WHUB, Cookeville’s Brent Carl Fleshman. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes today about Cookeville, Tennessee talk radio host Brent Carl Fleshman who recently underwent a lifesaving – and life-changing – kidney transplant. Fleshman serves with Zimmer Broadcasting’s Cookeville station group where he hosts the morning drive show on news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” and serves as program director, among other duties. In May of 2014, Dr. Barbara Fleming was doing a segment on Fleshman’s program when she noticed something about Fleshman that concerned her. She prompted him to seek treatment at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University and he got into the hospital’s kidney transplant program. Fleshman says, “I’ve been given a second chance with this kidney and am grateful to the man who signed that donor card [making it possible for me to] continue doing what I love every day. I intend to make the most of it. I look forward to getting back on the air soon and have asked Dr. Fleming to be on my first show. If [the host of WHUB’s 30-minute Saturday health program, ‘Your Best Health Connection’] hadn’t noticed my symptoms eight years ago and gone to Vanderbilt with me, I would never have seen this day. Radio saved my life.” Read his story here.

 

Gordon Smith Joins Beasley Board of Directors. Former NAB president and CEO Gordon H. Smith is nominated by the Beasley Media Group board of directors to be added to the slate of directors to be presented at the annual shareholders meeting on May 25. The official unanimous vote took place during the company’s board of director’s meeting on March 31, 2022. Smith, who served two terms as a Republican U.S. Senator representing Oregon, led the NAB from 2009 through 2021. Beasley board chair and CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It is such an honor and a privilege to welcome Gordon to the Beasley Media Group board of directors. His outstanding leadership, dedication and service to broadcasters and our nation is unparalleled. His understanding of Washington and how to navigate the halls of power will serve our board well for years to come. I look forward to working closely with Gordon and our board as we continue to evolve our company forward.”

 

47th Annual Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 47th Annual Gracie Awards which will return in-person on May 24 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles with local and student awards given on June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. AWMF says the event will honor some of the most talented women in television, radio and digital media. AWMF chair Heather Cohen says, “Throughout this past year we have seen a number of remarkable projects by and about inspirational women.” AWMF president Becky Brooks adds, “We are honored to shine a spotlight on these women, whose stories have driven cultural awareness, offered entertainment that has made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. This year, we will be returning to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and are delighted to return to an in-person format so that we can properly celebrate together.” Some of the national radio honorees include Allison Keyes, CBS News Weekend Roundup; Cheri Preston, ABC News Radio; Jen Horn, Victoria Keelan, and Jai Kershner, “The DJV Show”; Heather Hunter, WMAL-FM, Washington’s “O’Connor and Company”; Jeana Gondek, WOKV-FM, Jacksonville, “Jacksonville’s Morning News”; Judi Franco, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; Lori Barghini and Julia Cobbs, KTMY-FM, Minneapolis “The Lori & Julia Show”; MalaniKai WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, “Word on the Street”; and Rita Cosby, WABC, New York. See the complete list of honorees here. Pictured above at the most recent in-person ceremony (2019) are (from l-r): country artist Kelsey Ballerini, Heather Cohen, and Becky Brooks.

 

Comrex to Unveil Gagl Remote Contribution Solution at NAB Show. The newest remote contribution solution from Comrex will be showcased at the NAB Show in Las Vegas April 23-27.  Dubbed Gagl, this new cloud service delivers conferenced audio from multiple contributors in high-quality. Gagl allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. Participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Their audio is conferenced (if there’s more than one user) and delivered to a Comrex hardware codec such as an ACCESS or BRIC-Link. All participants can hear other participants, and the codec can send audio back to them. Comrex says Gagl could be used as the hub for a round-robin reporting program or for a large-cast radio show to support multiple simultaneous connections at once. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone. Designed with audio quality in mind, Gagl provides stable connections with limited bandwidth. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide. With a simple user interface, Gagl is easy for users with any level of technical expertise to use. Gagl works with Comrex hardware IP audio codecs including the AES67-compatible ACCESS NX Rack IP audio codec and ACCESS MultiRack multi-channel IP audio codec as well as the BRIC-Link series – a sneak peak of the next addition to the BRIC-Link codec line will also be featured at the 2022 NAB Show. LiveShot (a bonded IP solution for live video) and other IP audio solutions for IFB and POTS and /ISDN replacement can be found at the Comrex booth C3024 in Central Hall along with a “behind the curtain” look at some new concept products.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Hunter Biden/Rudy Giuliani Investigations, Inflation/Recession Fears, Brooklyn Shooter Search, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Severe Southern Weather, and Gilbert Gottfried Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and President Joe Biden’s use of the term “genocide”; the investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures and the investigation into Rudy Giuliani’s potential violation of foreign lobbying laws; high gas and consumer goods prices in the U.S. and fears the inflation will cause a recession; the search for the man who opened fire in a Brooklyn subway injuring 26 people; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the reinstating of mask requirements in some places in the U.S. as the BA.2 variant dominates and the brutal lockdowns taking place in China; the severe weather affecting the Southern U.S.; and the death of comic Gilbert Gottfried were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

| March 30, 2022

Geraldo Rivera to End WTAM, Cleveland Radio Show. The daily, local program that Geraldo Rivera hosted for iHeartMedia on Cleveland news/talk WTAM will ends after the April 1 program. Rivera has been hosting the one-hour show from 9:00 am to 10:00 am but will end the program due to his busy schedule. WTAM says, “Geraldo is a once-in-a-generation broadcaster, storied journalist, and tireless philanthropist. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that after his 50-plus years of broadcasting, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Rivera refuses to slow down. Unfortunately, with an increased travel schedule for the FOX News Network and additional production projects, Geraldo has decided that after nearly four years, the final episode of ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ will air on Friday, April 1, 2022 from 9:00 am until 10:00 am on Newsradio WTAM 1100. Even though the WTAM chapter of his career is closing, Geraldo will continue to live in his adopted hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife Erica and daughter Sol. We will always consider Geraldo to be a treasured member of the WTAM family and are honored to have had a front row seat to his storied career.”

 

 

WPHT, Philadelphia Raises $65,000 for Veterans Organization. Pictured above is the staff of Audacy’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia at the fifth annual “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Travis Manion Foundation Radiothon” during which it raised more than $65,000 in support of veterans in partnership with the Travis Manion Foundation. The Travis Manion Foundation is led by veterans and families of the fallen that develops, unites and strengthens communities by training, developing, and highlighting the role models that lead them. The radiothon was broadcast live from Audacy corporate headquarters in Philadelphia on March 25 and was hosted by station talent, including  Rich Zeoli, Dom Giordano, Dawn Stensland and special guest Ryan Manion, Gold Star Sister and president of the Travis Manion Foundation, along with the team at the organization.

 

Beasley Names Tim Jorgenson Integrated Sales Manager for Detroit. Sales pro Tim Jorgenson is promoted to integrated sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s Detroit operations. He was most recently the company’s national digital automotive specialist. In his new role, he’ll lead the digital sales efforts of the company’s Motor City stations that include sports talk WCSX-HD2/W228CJ “Motor City Sports Talk – The ROAR” and four music brands. Beasley Media Group director of sales Patti Taylor says, “We are beyond excited to have Tim move into the position as integrated sales manager for Detroit. Tim’s depth of knowledge in the automotive industry, coupled with his skill and passion for digital, will drive Beasley Detroit’s efforts to the next level. Tim’s approach is thoughtful and smart – and our team is so excited to be working with him.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is all-news WINS-AM, New York “1010 WINS” brand manager Ben Mevorach (left) accepting the 2022 World Radio Day Award, presented by the American Academy of Radio. The theme of this year’s award is citizens’ trust in radio. The award was established in 2018 as part of the worldwide UNESCO celebration of radio and its value in the lives of people across the world. Mevorach says of the Audacy station, “No station personifies the city of New York quite like 1010 WINS. We are thrilled to be recognized for our relentless dedication to our guiding principles of fairness, trust, inclusion, and information so that, together with our listeners, we improve the communities we serve.” Pictured with him are American Academy of Radio jurors Deborah Parenti, president, Streamline Publishing (center), and Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency (right)…..A collaboration between iHeartMedia and European podcast studio Novel is producing the new program, “The Superhero Complex.” Hosted by David Weinberg, the series captures the rise and fall of Phoenix Jones, Seattle’s real-life, crime-fighting vigilante who infamously ascended from local icon and leader of The Rain City Superhero Movement, to a dejected and humiliated figure waiting for a verdict on a charge of selling MDMA to undercover cops. By day, Phoenix is a semi-pro MMA fighter — but by night, he slinks through the streets of Rain City, patrolling Seattle for crime amongst a motley crew of former soldiers, ex-cops, recovered addicts, and reformed criminals. As remarkable a group and a mission as The Rain City Superhero Movement was, ultimately, the truth behind the myth is far more complicated. Told with a balance of in-depth reportage and empathetic character study, “The Superhero Complex” reveals the betrayals, crumbling marriage, and career-ending drug charge that underscored the legacy of Phoenix Jones — confronting our society’s fascination with superheroes and figures beyond the law in the process…..C13Originals, the Peabody Award-nominated documentary division of podcast studio Cadence13, an Audacy company, announces the launch of “Origins: HBO: Present, Past, and Future,” the seventh chapter of the podcast series written and hosted by award-winning journalist and bestselling author James Andrew Miller, featuring new interviews with the most important figures who shaped HBO’s half-century drive to fundamentally change television. In his recent, critically acclaimed book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, Miller told the explosive and uninhibited true story of HBO and how it burst onto the American scene and screen to detonate a revolution and transform our relationship with television forever. Now, in “Origins: HBO: Present, Past, and Future,” Miller offers new material and interviews with top executives, programming chiefs, and executive producers for a deep dive on the business side of the blockbuster media company that has revolutionized the industry time and again.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Recession Fears/Soaring Consumer Prices, Biden Budget/Tax Hike, Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law, Hunter Biden Investigation, COVID-19, January 6 Probe, Will Smith-Chris Rock Incident Aftermath, and Big Tech Antitrust Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/29). Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the rest of the world; financial experts fear a recession is imminent and Americans bemoan high gas and food prices; President Joe Biden unveils his fiscal 2023 budget that includes a new tax on the wealthiest Americans; the controversy over Florida’s law that prohibits schools from discussing sexuality in grades K-3; the ongoing Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities; concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant that’s sweeping the UK and parts of Asia; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol assault and a judge’s ruling that Donald Trump “more likely than not” intended to obstruct the election certification; the aftermath of Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock at the Oscars; and the Department of Justice endorses antitrust proposals designed to prevent big tech from giving preferential treatment to their own products were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

| March 17, 2022

‘Free Talk Live’ Co-Host Ian Freeman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. A self-described “activist for liberty” for the past two decades, Ian Freeman co-hosts (with Mark Edge) the independently syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live.” The program emanates from Keene, New Hampshire and airs seven nights a week between 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET. In addition to the two co-hosts, the show presents a rotating panel of regular personalities – such as one individual whose legal name is Nobody – described as ministers of the Shire Free Church (the show’s parent organization) and features various voices from New Hampshire’s liberty activist community. It has guests and takes callers from across the nation. Although still on the air regularly, Freeman is currently under federal arrest on a wide array of charges ranging from money laundering to wire fraud. He maintains his innocence and claims the FBI and other government agencies are on the mission of shutting him up after years of dealing with the nuisance of the show’s activism and controversial information. Freeman will begin his trial later this year. Stand by for a fascinating conversation about the First Amendment, freedom of speech, liberty, civil disobedience, and the role and impact of cryptocurrency in our modern society – the connection to which a number of Freeman’s legal troubles are related. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

Weber Named Interim Broadcast Managing Editor for WBBM, Chicago. According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Zac Weber is being promoted from his morning editor position to interim broadcast managing editor at Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago. This move comes three months after Julie Mann left the managing editor post at the station to take the public information officer role with Kane County, Illinois. WBBM Newsradio brand manager Ron Gleason says in a memo to staff, “Zac has done a tremendous job as morning editor, and there’s no question his skills of scouring the world for the latest news early each morning will pay off for all of us.”

 

Micah Goldberg Rises to SVP and Market Manager for Audacy Denver. Sales and management pro Micah Goldberg is promoted to SVP and market manager for Audacy’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KAMP-AM “The Bet 1430AM,” comedy KQKS-HD2 and three music brands. Goldberg – who was most recently director of sales for the cluster – takes over for John Fullam who had been serving as interim market manager since July 2021 and returns to his executive coaching business. Goldberg says, “Team Audacy is second to none. The pride I feel being able to continue contributing and leading a team I have such respect for is nearly indescribable. Following in John Fullam’s footsteps is no easy task, but I know Audacy Denver will continue to make him proud. Thanks to Audacy, Doug [Abernethy] and Susan [Larkin] for all the support and for this amazing opportunity.”

 

Edison: 39% of Americans 12+ Have No Radio in the Home. Calling it “radio’s hardware problem,” Edison Research says that data from its soon-to-be-released The Infinite Dial 2022 report indicates that over the last two years, the number of Americans 12+ who report not having a radio in their home has risen almost 10% with 39% reporting no radio in the home. Just 14 years ago that figure was 4%. Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “Of course, nearly all cars have AM/FM radios easily available, and people can listen to the content of radio stations on their phones or smart speakers. However, the elimination of the standard, single-use radio from so many households makes the challenge that much harder in the location that most people spend the most hours.” Many consider the smart speaker to be the new in-home radio. Edison says it will present smart speaker adoption data when it reveals The Infinite Dial 2022 at Podcast Movement Evolutions on March 23.

 

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thanks Joe Madison for Help with Antilynching Act. Pictured above at yesterday’s bill enrollment photo opportunity for H.R. 55, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which specifies lynching as a hate crime act, are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (third from right) and SiriusXM talk personality Joe Madison (far right). Speaker Pelosi thanked Madison for his efforts is raising awareness of the bill. Also pictured are: Chair Bennie Thompson, House Committee on Homeland Security (far left); Chair Joyce Beatty, Congressional Black Caucus (second from left); Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) (third from left); and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (second from right).

 

WJR, Detroit Named Station of the Year by MAB. News/talk WJR-AM, Detroit was named Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters as part of its 2021 Broadcast Excellence Awards. This is the fifth time in six years that the Cumulus Media station has been recognized as the Station of the Year. In addition, WJR was selected for 17 “Excellence” awards, and 7 “Merit” awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “Winning so many awards reflects the depth of talent on this all-star team. Winning Station of the Year is especially gratifying, as WJR celebrates our 100th Anniversary this year! We thank the MAB for this wonderful recognition.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Erick Erickson Show” is being added to the program schedule at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s news/talk WMAY-AM/FM, Springfield, Illinois. Erickson launched the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program nationally in May of 2021. The show is based at Cox Media Group’s news/talk “95.5 WSB” in Atlanta. Erickson says, “We’re excited to be joining the lineup at WMAY in Springfield and look forward to many great things to come in 2022.”…..iHeartMedia, Inc. announces that it has named Sam Englebardt, general partner of Galaxy Interactive, to its board of directors.  Galaxy Interactive is a venture capital franchise focused on companies operating at the intersection of content, finance and technology, with a particular emphasis on video game studios, NFTs, social platforms and financial marketplaces. Englebardt is also co-founder and partner at Galaxy Digital, a technology-driven financial services and investment management firm that provides institutions and clients with a full suite of financial solutions spanning the digital assets ecosystem. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Sam’s expertise and deep understanding of web3, exponential technologies and the potential of emerging consumer tech platforms like NFTs, tokens and shared virtual experiences, combined with his background in media and entertainment, will be uniquely valuable to us as we extend iHeart’s presence into web3 and the metaverse.”…..Audacy Pittsburgh raises funds to provide over 600,000 meals for people in need through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The “Giant Eagle Feed the Need Radiothon” aired on February 25 on KDKA “News Radio 100.1 FM and 1020 AM,” KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and its two music-formatted sister stations. Audacy Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburghers help their neighbors in times of need. Our community is at the core of everything we do at Audacy Pittsburgh. The results of the ‘Feed the Need Radiothon’ are a good showcase of radio’s power in our region. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to make this another successful year.”

 

 

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces New Board Members and Officers. The Broadcasters Foundation of America elects Curtis LeGeyt, president and CEO for the National Association of Broadcasters, Dennis Lyle, president and CEO for the Illinois Broadcasters Association and the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation, and Chad Matthews, president of ABC Owned Stations, to its board. In addition, it names Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, and Judy Quaranta, a highly accomplished executive in the world of finance, as officers. Quaranta will also fill the role of vice president of finance for the BFoA. Chairman Scott Herman says, “We’re delighted to announce these esteemed individuals — Curtis, Dennis, and Chad – as members of our board. Their support of the Foundation’s charitable mission and their leadership in the broadcast industry is commendable. Heather and Judy are accomplished professionals in their individual fields, and as officers of the Broadcasters Foundation, they will help us advance our cause of helping our colleagues who are in great need.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Fed Rate Hike, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Daylight Saving Time Bill, and Cuomo Sues CNN Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The Russian invasion of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeal to the U.S. Congress, and China’s role in Russia’s gambit; the high price of gas at the pumps and the high cost of consumer retail goods; the Fed approves a quarter-percent interest rate hike; concerns about the Ba.2 Omicron variant and the rolling back of mask mandates in the U.S.; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the debate over the Senate-approved bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent; and Chris Cuomo sues CNN for $125 million claiming he was unlawfully fired were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

| January 18, 2022

WMAL-FM, Washington Unveils New ‘O’Connor & Company’ Co-Hosts. The morning drive “O’Connor & Company” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington, DC announces the program’s new co-hosts. Joining host Larry O’Connor are: Amber Athey, Washington editor at The Spectator, Julie Gunlock, director of the center for progress and innovation at Independent Women’s Forum, and Patrice Onwuka, political commentator and director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Independent Women’s Forum. The station says that the trio have been well received by WMAL listeners as guest hosts on the show in recent months. WMAL program director Bill Hess says, “We are excited to welcome these fresh voices to WMAL. Their varied life experiences, chemistry with Larry and with each other, and opinions on the issues of the day serve to create compelling content each weekday morning.” O’Connor adds, “Having a daily conversation with Julie, Amber and Patrice about what matters most to the people of our community is an absolute pleasure. From the halls of the Capitol to the vital debates at our local school boards, these intelligent and engaging women bring insights and humor that represent the best of Washington. It’s a genuine honor to team up with them every morning on WMAL.”

Livingston Named GSM for Cumulus Birmingham. Radio sales pro Todd Livingston is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham station group that includes the trio of sports talkers WJOX-FM “Jox 94.5,” WJQX-FM “Jox2 100.5,” and WJOX-AM “Jox3 690,” and news/talk duo WAPI-FM/WZRR-FM. Livingston is a 32-year media executive who joined Cumulus Birmingham in July 2021 as an account executive. Prior to that, he was local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Tuscaloosa. Cumulus Birmingham VP and market manager James Robinson states, “We are excited to have Todd on our team as general sales manager. Todd has deep roots and broadcast experience in Alabama and his ability to create actionable ideas for our client partners make him a valuable asset to our team in Birmingham.”

Audacy Adds Two Sales Pros to Performance Sales Function. Media sales pros Shirin Peykar and Dan Wolman join Audacy – Peykar in the role of SVP of performance sales and Wolman in the VP of performance sales position. In her new role, Peykar will lead Audacy’s performance sales team and sell across its portfolio of products, leaning heavily into the company’s robust podcast library. Peykar will also strategize to drive the business forward and expand Audacy’s relationships with performance-driven marketers. She will report to Ken Lagana, EVP of digital sales. Wolman will work with performance clients and agencies to sell across Audacy’s portfolio of digital audio brands, with a focus on its podcast business. Both Peykar and Wolman join Audacy from Stitcher, where Peykar was SVP of direct response ad sales and Wolman was VP of performance sales. Lagana says, “Shirin’s rich experience leading multi-faceted ad sales operations for premier media and entertainment companies makes her a valuable addition to our performance sales business. We’re equally as excited about the addition of Dan to the team, which will collectively strive to drive revenue, market share and profit performance for our portfolio of assets.” Peykar says, “I’ve been watching Audacy’s progression in the podcast space over the past couple of years and their commitment to building a world class podcast portfolio has really impressed me. When you couple that dedication to the podcast space and audio in general, I couldn’t be more excited about bringing this portfolio to our performance clients and agencies!” Wolman comments, “Audacy is the industry leader in audio while remaining innovative, representing chart-topping content, generating loyal listeners, and serving as the home to influential talent. This is a performance sellers dream! I am excited to leverage my linear, OTT, and audio experience with this role and celebrate many wins with Audacy and our client partners.”

Deadline for 2022 Gracie Awards Submissions Extended to January 27. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the final deadline to submit entries for the 47th annual Gracie Awards has been extended until January 27 – a seven-day extension from the original January 20 deadline. The Gracie Awards celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in television, radio/audio and digital media.  Submissions from all facets of media are encouraged. AWMF president Becky Brooks says, “We know the circumstances of the past two years led to delivering content to audiences in ways we never expected, which is why we are more committed than ever to honoring the remarkable work that has been created by, for and about women. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracie Awards enable the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media even during times of uncertainty.” The Gracie Awards Gala is still currently scheduled for an in-person celebration May 24 at the famed Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire and Gracie Awards Luncheon for June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street. AWMF extends gratitude to its ongoing donors and sponsors committed to furthering the mission of the organization including Crown Media Family Networks, CNN, and NCTA – The Internet and Television Association. The Gracie Awards are also honored to have the leadership of Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency; Annie Howell, chief communications officer, Crown Media Family Networks; and Mike McVay, McVay Media Consulting as Gracies co-chairs and Vicangelo Bulluck serving as executive producer. You can find entry details here.

COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Voting Rights, MLK Holiday, Inflation/Supply Chain, Synagogue Attack, and Tonga Eruption Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17). The high rate of COVID-19 cases, the Omicron variant, masks, and vaccine mandates; the potential loss of power for Democrats after the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s hold over the GOP; the fate of the Voting Rights Act without support from Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; high prices at the pump and at retail outlets combined with supply chain woes; the aftermath of the attack on the Texas synagogue; and the volcanic eruption near Tonga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

| July 8, 2021

TALKERS 2021 Conference Video Posted – Panel Discussion, “Strategizing a Talk Show Hosting Career.” The seventh video, under the direction of Art Vuolo, from the TALKERS 2021 Conference that took place at Hofstra University on June 11, is posted. This installment features the panel discussion, “Strategizing a Talk Show Hosting Career.” Moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS; introduced by Dick Morris, talk show host, Newsmax TV/WABC, New York; and sponsored by the Michael Berry Show, the panel features (in alphabetical order): Rob Carson, talk show host, Newsmax TV; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyGrace Curley, talk show host, Howie Carr Radio NetworkErick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta/Cox Media GroupDom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City. TALKERS will be posting a new video from TALKERS 2021 each business day until all 10 are archived and available for on-demand viewing.

Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. The stars of Premiere Networks’ recently launched Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The program serves as the official Premiere Networks replacement for the historic 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET Rush Limbaugh Show. It launched on June 21, 2021 on some 400-plus affiliates in all 50 states making it the largest rollout of a syndicated news/talk show in modern talk radio history. Travis has a background in leading edge sports talk commentary developed on both the Internet and terrestrial radio. Sexton has a background in political news/talk radio and served a number of years as a counter-terrorism expert for the CIA and the NYPD. They discuss their brand of conservative broadcasting and the strategy steering their course to effectively serve the existing fans and affiliates of Rush Limbaugh while building upon that base to grow the show going forward. Don’t miss this timely, fascinating conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here.

Tavis Smiley’s KBLA, Los Angeles Names Otis Warren VP of Sales. The new Los Angeles talk station launched by Tavis Smiley’s Smiley Audio Media – KBLA “Talk 1580” announces radio executive and sales pro Otis Warren is named vice president of sales. The company says that it is “building a sales team that is dynamic in understanding the changing market demographic and the economic power of its targeted audience,” and adds that during his career, “Warren has built a successful track record in client development and expanding station growth and marketability.” During his career, Warren has served as the national sales manager for American General Media, overseeing 12 stations in two markets – Bakersfield and Albuquerque. He began his radio career with Buckley Broadcasting and served with the company for more than 16 years, rising to VP of sales. Warren says, “I’m a radio guy and I am looking forward to being a part of the KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ family. I respect what Tavis is trying to accomplish with KBLA ‘Talk 1580’ as a Black-owned and operated radio station for the sophisticated African American listening audience. I think it is something that is long overdue.”

Stitcher’s 2021 Podcast Report Reveals Changes in Growing Media Platform. Based on data from its listener base, Stitcher unveils its second annual Stitcher Podcasting Report that it calls “a comprehensive look at who and where these listeners are, behavioral patterns, trends shaping the medium and the factors contributing to its growth.” Chief marketing officer Amy Fitzgibbons says, “Podcasting is a powerful medium that has not only prevailed, but thrived, in the midst of a global pandemic, as people sought a sense of connection during periods of isolation.” Some of the findings of the study: 1) Pre-pandemic, top listening hours aligned with peak commuting times, which have been replaced by a shift to lunchtime/early afternoon (11:00 am – 2:00 pm); 2) Similarly, household chores and gardening have replaced commuting as the primary activity that listeners do while listening to podcasts; 3) Based on user “favorite” activity, younger generations gravitated to comedy and talk content (age 13-34), while news and politics did better with older generations (age 35+); 4) Median monthly hours per listener per month rose from 7.5 in 2019 to nearly 8 in 2020; 5) Pandemic and COVID-19 searches were the top most searched terms for the year (2020), with listeners turning to podcasts for the latest on major global events; 6) “NFL” was the second highest cultural search term in 2020 – despite a shortened season and inability to attend games, fans still wanted to get involved and turned to podcasting to do so; 7) Some states are more dedicated: Washington, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin, Utah, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Montana, Vermont, North Dakota and Alaska all rank higher in listening hours than they do in the total number of listeners; and 8) Habits differ by gender: Men have a slight edge in the average number of shows listened to and hours listened per week, whereas women continue to have more favorites. Women are also more likely to listen to podcasts for entertainment, while men tend to seek news/information. See more about the study here. Stitcher was acquired by SiriusXM in July 0f 2020.

Jim Bohannon Recognized as 2020 Inductee into the Missouri Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The 2020 induction ceremony for the Missouri Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame didn’t take place due to the pandemic, so the 2020 inductees will be honored as part of this year’s ceremony on August 7 at the Branson Hilton Convention Center in Branson, Missouri. The induction ceremony is part of the 2021 Awards Banquet at the MBA’s annual convention. Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Jim Bohannon will be among those honored as a 2020 inductee.

Longtime WVMT, Burlington Host Ernie Farrar Dies at 78. Burlington, Vermont broadcasting legend Ernie Farrar passed away recently at age 78. Farrar retired from Sisson Broadcasting’s news/talk WVMT-AM/W242BK in 2018 after more than 50 years with the station. WCAX-TV reports that Farrar was inducted into both the Vermont Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame. Farrar’s son, Tony Farrar, tells WCAX News,“All of the practical jokes and laughter will be greatly missed! All I can say is that I hope heaven is ready for one heck of a show!”

TALKERS News Notes. Actress and New York Times best-selling children’s book author Jamie Lee Curtis and iHeartMedia collaborate to produce a new weekly iHeartRadio Original Podcast called, “Good Friend.” Premiering July 15, the podcast addresses the good, the bad and the ugly of friendships through both intimate and candid unscripted conversations. Throughout the 15-episode season, Curtis has unscripted, relatable conversations with celebrity friends and public figures such as Senator Amy Klobuchar, Michelle Williams, Robin Wright, Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts, Michelle Yeoh and Maria Shriver, among others, about conflict resolution, making new friends and keeping friendships alive during difficult times like the pandemic.  On the premiere episode of “Good Friend,” Curtis sits down with her new friend Lena Dunham…..Full-service sound agency TM Studios inks a deal with Greau Creative to serve as its agency of record to handle all national creative design, event production, communications, and branding. Greau, the marketing company led by former Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey, will lead creative and branding efforts to further expand TM’s presence across all platforms including the launch of several new products in the coming weeks. TM Studios co-owner Dave Bethell says, “After looking at numerous companies to partner with, we are excited to be working with Greau. We’ve been fans of Jay Bailey’s work for some time now. He and his team are smart, passionate, understand our clients’ needs and daily challenges, and that badass attitude will help us get the message to our clients, partners and potential future clients.”

COVID-19 Delta Variant, Trump Social Media Lawsuits, House January 6 Investigation, Critical Race Theory, Economy/Labor Shortage, Haitian President Assassinated, Florida Condo Demolition, Tucker Carlson NSA Claims, and Tokyo Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/7). The spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and the rate of vaccinations in the U.S.; former President Donald Trump files suits against Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube alleging violation of his First Amendment rights; the House panel to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack; criticism of the teaching of critical race theory in U.S. schools; the booming U.S. economy and employers’ staffing challenges; the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise; the recovery efforts at the Surfside condo in Florida; Tucker Carlson’s claim that the NSA hacked his email account and distributed some to reporters; and the Tokyo Olympics to be held under state of emergency among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.