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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

| October 6, 2021

WIP, Philadelphia’s Angelo Cataldi Announces Retirement. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that longtime WIP-FM, Philadelphia morning host Angelo Cataldi will retire from the Audacy sports talk station when his contract expires at the end of 2022. Cataldi has been with the station since 1989. The Inquirer’s Rob Tornoe writes that Cataldi decided to work another year (instead of retiring at the end of 2021) “after meeting with WIP’s new program director, Rod Lakin, whose first day at the station was Monday. Cataldi told listeners he started to become burned out back in May and was prepared to announce his retirement at the end of this year when his contract expired but said Lakin asked him to remain on an additional year.” WIP made some concessions to keep Cataldi around for another year, including a new four-day work week, a driver to shuttle him to Atlantic City for remotes, and the rehiring of marketing director Cindy Webster as a “special consultant” to the show to “help with our relationships with the teams and promotions.” Cataldi hosts the show with fellow cast members Rhea Hughes and Al Morganti as well as a rotating group of Philadelphia sports figures.

Audacy Names Lena Moss Glaser VP and Executive Producer for 2400Sports. Production pro Lena Moss Glaser joins Audacy as vice president and executive producer of the company’s new podcast studio, 2400Sports. In this role, Glaser will oversee all production and content operations for all 2400Sports podcasts, partnering with producers and talent internally and externally to develop slates of new podcasts. Audacy chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “I’m thrilled to welcome Lena to Audacy and our podcast team as we continue to scale our newest studio 2400Sports. Her deep experience in sports media, from digital and social-first content to international productions at the biggest sporting events in the world, and her ability to find unique stories that engage a diverse range of audiences, combined with her reputation as an incredible leader, makes her a perfect fit to lead 2400Sports, and we’re looking forward to Lena lending her voice, skills and talent to our team.” Glaser began her career with NBC, where she produced network studio shows for four Olympic Games and served as coordinating producer of NBC’s Paralympics coverage in Sochi, Rio, and Pyeongchang. Her additional remote, studio, and feature credits include work on the US Open, Wimbledon, and Roland Garros; three Super Bowls, and “Football Night in America.”

Round Two of September PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s September 2021 survey period covered August 19 – September 15. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In the Washington market, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM drops seven-tenths for an 8.5 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish and falls from #1 to #2. At Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM, the station sheds one-tenth for 3.2 share finish and the #13 rank. iHeartMedia Boston’s news/talk WRKO tacks on one-tenth to finish with a 3.9 share and remains ranked #9 while sister all-news WBZ-AM adds four-tenths to remain ranked #3 on the strength of a 6.6 share. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM continues its occupation of the #1 spot even though it dipped two-tenths and wrapped the survey with a 7.1 share. Lotus Communications’ all-news KOMO-AM/FM stays in the #3 rank while shedding four-tenths for a 5.4 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets (as well as yesterday’s first round) here.

CUMULUS Promotes Conrad Trautmann to Chief Technology Officer. Rising from his previous position as SVP, technology & operations for CUMULUS MEDIA to chief technology officer is Conrad Trautmann. He reports directly to president and CEO Mary Berner. Trautmann joined CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One in 2000 as EVP, technology, and was promoted in February 2016 to SVP, technology & operations. In his new role, he is responsible for the oversight of companywide broadcast engineering and information technology, as well as purchasing, real estate and facilities management across the company. He also serves on the Radio Technology Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters. Berner says, “Conrad’s contributions to the company over the past 21 years are countless. Unsurprisingly, Conrad has done a particularly commendable job successfully leading the company through the technical challenges presented by COVID-19, and by severe weather events we’ve experienced across the country. He has also been critical to broadening and advancing the technology that drives our growth platforms in digital and podcasting. This promotion recognizes the vital role that he continues to play in our success.”

Triton Digital Releases August 2021 Streaming Ranker. Data from Triton Digital’s Streaming Metrics measurement service for the August 2021 period is released. Rankings are computed based on Average Active Sessions (AAS) which represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period. Measuring the Monday – Sunday 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight period in the U.S., iHeartMedia is far and away #1 with 289,528 AAS. The following media companies also ranked in the top 25: NPR Member Stations (#2), Audacy (#3), Cumulus Streaming Network (#4), Beasley Broadcasting Corporate (#7), Hubbard Broadcasting (#8), Salem Communications (#11), Urban One (#12), Bonneville International (#13), Midwest Communications (#18), and Lotus Broadcasting (# 23). You can see all the rankings in the August survey here.

Jim Thompson to Retire from Broadcasters Foundation of America; Tim McCarthy to Transition to President Role. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that president Jim Thompson will retire from the Foundation at the end of 2022. In conjunction with that announcement, the BFoA unveils a succession plan whereby Thompson and broadcast veteran Tim McCarthy will serve as co-presidents through 2022, at which time Thompson will move into an active consultancy role. The search committee unanimously chose McCarthy as the best candidate for the position, and the board of directors unanimously endorsed him and the succession plan. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “I have known Tim for almost 20 years. He is an outstanding leader and I look forward to working with him and Jim for a seamless transition. Jim has done a phenomenal job getting the word out about our mission and increasing the number of broadcasters we help. The entire board and I are delighted that he will remain with the Foundation as co-president and then as a consultant.” Thompson says, “Serving the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation has been the most rewarding experience of my career. I cannot think of a more worthy task then helping our colleagues in their darkest moments. The search committee and the board have made an excellent choice in Tim – I know I will be leaving our mission in good hands.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago morning drive star Eric Ferguson is off the air at WTMX-FM for the month of October while Hubbard Radio deals with the accusations of now three former station staffers who’ve accused Ferguson of inappropriate behavior. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Hubbard Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England announced to the rest of the staff that Ferguson would be off the air while the station does more investigating. He said, “We take these allegations seriously and we are confident in the results of multiple investigations we have initiated. But we also owe it to ourselves and our listeners to have a deliberate and thoughtful process about our path forward, and candidly we are not there yet.”…..Beasley Media Group announces that WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” air personality Hardy is adding new duties as afternoon drive host at sister classic rock station WBOS-FM “ROCK 92.9.” Hardy is co-host of the “Zolak & Bertrand” midday show on “98.5 The Sports Hub.” WBZ-FM program director Rick Radzik says, “Hardy is one of the most talented, creative people I have ever worked with. His day-to-day role on ‘Zolak & Bertrand’ and with 98.5 will remain the same. Expanding his role locally and within the company is a win for everyone.”

MIW Announces Traci LaTrelle is This Year’s Mentee. This year’s mentee in Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio’s MIW & BDSradio Mentorship Program is Howard University Radio Network’s WHUR-FM music and assistant programming director Traci LaTrelle. MIW Board president Ruth Presslaff comments, “Traci is incredibly accomplished and still eager to grow further in our business. I am so excited for the opportunities that lie ahead of her and the chance for MIW to play a part in her growth. Congratulations to Traci and, as always, big thanks to Haley Jones, Scott Musgrave, and MRC Data who make this mentorship possible.”

Biden Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills/Debt Ceiling, Facebook Whistleblower, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, and California Oil Spill Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/5). The negotiations among Democrats over President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill and his $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill and the related issue of the debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen appears before a U.S. Senate committee; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., boosters, and mask & vaccine mandates; the ongoing investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the subpoenaing of Trump administration officials; and the damage and probable cause of the Southern California oil spill were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

September 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| October 6, 2021

September 2021 PPM Data – Information for the September 2021 sweep has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s September 2021 survey period covered August 19 – September 15.

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

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

All comparisons noted are August 2021 – September 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WMAL “105.9 FM – Where Washington Comes To Talk” (Washington Football Team) 3.3 – 3.2, -.1, #10 to #13

News: Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WTOP & WTLP “Washington’s Top News” 9.2 – 8.5, -.7, first to second

Sports Talk: In the Audacy cluster, WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) steady at 1.9, #18 to #17; WJFK-FM’s internet stream, .5 – .6, +.1, #24 to #20; and WTEM “980 The Team” (Washington Football Team) .4 – .6, +.2, #20

Public Radio News/Talk: American University-owned WAMU 6.6 – 7.4, +.8, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WMMJ, first month, 8.9 – 8.8, -.1

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase (Tie): public radio news/talk WAMU; classic hits-oldies WIAD; and CHR WIHT (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: urban AC WHUR (-1.3)

BOSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s WRKO “AM 680 The Voice Of Boston” 3.8 – 3.9, +.1, anchored in ninth-place

News – Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” 6.2 – 6.6, +.4, repeats at #3

Sports Talk: Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (New England Patriots) 5.8 – 7.4, +1.6, sixth to first

Audacy-owned WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station” (Red Sox) 3.4 – 3.9, +.5, #11 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: Boston University’s WBUR 4.1 – 4.0, -.1, unchanged at #8

WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH 3.2 – 2.9, -.3, #12 to #13

Number One 6+: sports talk WBZ-FM, first month, 5.8 – 7.4, +1.6

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: sports talk WBZ-FM (+1.6)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: CHR WXKS-FM (-1.0)

MIAMI

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Spanish News/Talk: Univision Radio-owned WAQI “710 AM Radio Mambi” 3.6 – 3.4, -.2, #10 to #11

Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad AM 1040” 2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #15 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Dade County School Board-owned WLRN 3.3 – 3.5, +.2, #11 to #9

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT, first month, 7.7 – 8.7, +1.0

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WHQT (+1.0)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WFEZ (-1.0)

SEATTLE

News/Talk: Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 FM” (Seahawks) 7.3 – 7.1, -.2, #1

News: Lotus Communications’ KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM “Seattle News, Weather, Sports” 5.8 – 5.4, -.4, repeats at #3

Sports Talk: Bonneville-owned KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” (Mariners and Seahawks) flat at 3.9, remains in ninth-place

Public Radio News/Talk: Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW 4.7 – 5.4, +.7, sixth to third

Number One 6+: news/talk KIRO-FM, third straight month, 7.3 – 7.1, -.2

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: alternative KEXP (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: rock KISW (-1.4)

DETROIT

News/Talk: Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760 AM” 4.6 – 3.8, -.8, #10 to #12

News: Audacy-owned WWJ News Radio 950” 5.7 – 5.5, -.2, repeats in fourth-place

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers and Lions) 5.4 – 5.5, +.1, fifth to fourth

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Michigan’s WUOM 1.6 – 1.7, +.1, #19 to #18

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies WOMC, second month in a row, 7.2 – 7.4, +.2

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WMXD (+.5)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: news/talk WJR (-.8)

PHOENIX

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” 5.0 – 4.5, -.5, second to fifth

Bonneville-owned KTAR-FM “News 92.3 FM” (Arizona Cardinals) 3.4 – 3.7, +.3, tenth to ninth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station” 2.2 – 2.1, -.1, #22 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, #11 to #10

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, eleventh consecutive month, 6.7 – 7.3, +.6

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: adult hits KYOT (+1.1)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies KOAI (-1.1)

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s WCCO “News Talk 830” (Twins) 4.8 – 5.2, +.4, eighth to sixth

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK-AM “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, remains at #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “FM 100.3 K-Fan” (Minnesota Vikings) 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, #12 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW 7.2 – 7.5, +.3, repeats in third-place

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, third successive month, 7.9 – 8.7, +.8

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KQQL (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (-1.0)

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOGO “News Radio 600” 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, eighth to fourth; KGB-AM “760 AM” 1.4 – 2.1, +.7, #22 to #16; and KFI “AM 640” 1.9 – 2.0, +.1, #20 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: San Diego State University-owned KPBS 4.6 – 5.2, +.6, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Local Media San Diego-programmed rhythmic hot AC XHRM, second consecutive month, 6.1 – 6.8, +.7

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase (Tie): rhythmic hot AC XHRM and news/talk KGB-AM (+.7)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: CHR KHTS (-1.3)

TAMPA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” 3.7 – 4.4, +.7, ninth to sixth

iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “News Radio 970” 2.8 – 3.3, +.5, #14 to #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: iHeartMedia’s WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays) 2.6 – 2.8, +.2, locked at #17

Public Radio News/Talk: University of South Florida-owned WUSF 2.8 – 3.2, +.4, #14 to #12

Number One 6+: contemporary Christian WCIE, third month in a row, 7.8 – 8.6, +.8

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian WCIE (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: hot AC WMTX (-1.4)

DENVER

News/Talk: In the iHeartMedia cluster, KOA “News Radio 850” (Rockies and Broncos) 2.8 – 2.9, +.1, #13 to #15; KHOW “Talk Radio 630” 2.2 – 2.5, +.3, #20 to #16; and KDFD “Freedom 93.7” 2.2 – 2.3, +.1, #20 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Bonneville’s KKFN “104.3 The Fan” 2.5 – 3.0, +.5, #15 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: Colorado Public Radio-owned KCFR 4.5 – 5.3, +.8, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Bonneville country KYGO, first month, 6.4 – 7.1, +.7

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: public radio news/talk KCFR (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: classic rock KRFX (-1.2)

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: Hearst Television’s WBAL News Radio 1090” (Ravens) 3.9 – 3.7, -.2, anchored in ninth-place

WCBM Maryland-owned WCBM “Talk Radio AM 680” 3.1 – 2.9, -.2, #13 to #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WJZ-FM “Baltimore Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) 4.5 – 4.3, -.2, repeats at #7

Public Radio News/Talk: Your Public Radio Corporation’s WYPR 3.9 – 3.5, -.4, #9 to #11

Number One 6+: Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM, ninth consecutive month, 8.1 – 8.6, +.5

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: classic rock WZBA (+.8)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: urban contemporary WERQ (-.9)

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: Audacy’s KMOX “The Voice Of St. Louis” (Cardinals) flat at 6.0, seventh to eighth and co-owned KFTK “Talk 97.1 FM” 4.5 – 3.7, -.8, #10 to #14

iHeartMedia-owned KTLK-FM “104.9 The Patriot” 2.1 – .5, -1.6 #17 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 ESPN” 3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #13 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Missouri-owned KWMU 3.3 – 4.2, +.9, #15 to #10

Number One 6+: Hubbard Broadcasting rock KSHE, ninth consecutive month, 11.1 – 11.0, -.1

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Increase: urban AC WFUN (+1.0)

Largest 6+ August 2021 – September 2021 Decrease: news/talk KTLK-FM (-1.6)

Note: Three days before the start of the September 2021 sweep (8/16), iHeartMedia flipped urban AC KMJM to news/talk KTLK-FM.

 

Up next: September 2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus.

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

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

| October 5, 2021

Round One of September PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s September 2021 sweep covered August 19 – September 15. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. iHeartMedia’s New York City news/talk WOR adds four-tenths to finish with a 2.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rises to the #16 rank while Red Apple Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC climbs three-tenths for a 2.2 share finish and the #18 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles dips three-tenths to a 3.8 share but remains in the #7 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN tacks on two-tenths for a 3.6 share and stays ranked #9 while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM adds nine-tenths for a 6.6 share finish and recaptures the #1 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

iHeartMedia Names Dalena Pajares VP of Sales for St. Louis Cluster. Sales pro Dalena Pajares joins iHeartMedia’s St. Louis station group as vice president of sales. The cluster includes news/talk KTLK-FM “104.9 The Patriot” and KATZ-HD2/W279AQ “BIN: Black Information Network” as well as eight music brands. Pajares was most recently an account executive with The Center for Sales Strategy. Previously, she’d served with Hubbard Radio, Emmis Communications, CBS Radio, and Cox Radio. She comments, “I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to join this talented group of people. iHeartMedia St. Louis has powerful solutions to offer emerging brands, our local business community and nationwide advertisers. I’m committed to making a positive contribution and can’t wait to grow and help others as they grow.”

CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group Develops Audio Planning Guide. This week’s blog from the CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group shares data sourced from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” Report, Nielsen’s Nationwide, and the Scarborough Podcast Buying Power study that makes up its Audio Planning Guide. Some of the key findings include: 1) Many media strategists and planners mistakenly believe Pandora and Spotify have the largest share of ad-supported audio listening. At a 76% share, Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” reveals AM/FM radio is the dominant ad-supported audio platform; 2) From the Q2 2021 “Share of Ear” study, Edison reports the 76 share of AM/FM radio is 13 times larger than Pandora and 19 times larger than Spotify; 3) According to the Nielsen Commspoint, the media planning platform, a reallocation of 20%-30% of the TV budget to AM/FM radio generates significant lift in incremental reach; and 4) One of biggest misperceptions of AM/FM radio is that it is a “drive time” medium. The reality is only 40% of U.S. AM/FM radio listening occurs during mornings and afternoon drive times. 60% of U.S. AM/FM radio listening occurs outside of drive times. See more here.

Audacy and Osiris Media Partner for ‘Breaking Waves’ Podcast Series. A new podcast series from Audacy, in partnership with Osiris Media, titled “Breaking Waves” launches on October 12. The series centers around stories and anecdotes revisited by bands, Audacy talent, stations and friends who watched, lived and defined a particular music scene or movement. The first episode is “Breaking Waves: Seattle” and focuses on the emergence and growth of grunge and alternative music in the city in the 80s and 90s. Audacy SVP of programming Dave Richards says, “We are so excited to introduce the ‘Breaking Waves’ podcast series to our audience. This music was such a defining genre in the history book of American culture and set the stage for so many bands that followed. We’re thrilled to bring the genuine storytelling from the people who created and lived the scene – from its start in the 80s into the groundbreaking 90s, to now. This is the first of many podcasts that will give our audience the story of a time and place, that went from local to worldwide.”

Biden Spending Bills/Debt Crisis, COVID-19, Facebook Whistleblower, Pandora Papers, China’s Taiwan Aggression, California Oil Spill, Fed Insider Trading Allegations, France Catholic Church Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4). The status of President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill and his $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill and the fate of the country’s debt ceiling; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the controversy over booster shots, and mask & vaccine mandates; the aftermath of Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen’s appearance on “60 Minutes”; the release of the “Pandora Papers” that reveal how the global elite hide their money in off-shore accounts to avoid taxes; China’s military jet flights over Taiwan; the oil spill off the coast of Southern California; the allegations of insider trading by some Federal Reserve officials; and France is rocked by the revelation of decades long sexual abuse of children by Catholic Church employees were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

| August 11, 2021

Phil Valentine Update: Doctors Focusing on Lungs. The latest update on the status of WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” afternoon drive host Phil Valentine published by Newsweek indicates that doctors “are focusing on treating the lungs of conservative talk radio host Phil Valentine, in what his family has described as a ‘critical issue.’” Valentine contracted COVID-19 in mid-July and as the viral infection got worse, he was hospitalized and eventually put on a ventilator. Dan Mandis is the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host on the station and has been communicating with Valentine’s listeners on behalf of his family. He wrote on Monday, “They are working on his lungs, that’s the critical issue right now. Other problems will come along but right now the focus is on his lungs. I’m hoping to have another update soon. #PrayForPhil.” The day before, Mandis posted, “Phil remains in critical condition this morning. There isn’t much new to report, but your continued prayers and support are appreciated. #PrayforPhil,” and later added that Valentine’s atrial fibrillation had improved, as well as his blood pressure. “The hope now is that his dependence on the vent will decrease and his lungs will improve.” The Newsweek piece also quotes Valentine’s longtime producer Johnny B saying, “I know I’d be emotional about this, but not to the point that I have. It’s been a very dark period, actually. I’ve really had to talk to myself, and my wife has helped me tremendously, my family’s helped me, and it’s not been easy. And my co-workers too have been very wonderful,” adding that Valentine is “just the nicest guy and loves to help people out.”

Round Two of July 2021 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s July 2021 survey period covered June 24 – July 21. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM remains ranked #11 after tacking on one-tenth for a 3.7 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish. Meanwhile, Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM rises to #1 on the strength of a 1.1 share uptick and an 8.8 share finish. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston stays in the #9 position after dropping two-tenths and wrapping the survey with a 3.5 share. Sister all-news WBZ-AM is also steady at #5 after adding two-tenths for a 5.9 share finish. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM takes over the #1 rank after climbing 1.9 shares to a 7.8 share while Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM drops from #1 to #4 after falling two-tenths to a 6.3 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets (as well as the first round) here.

Nielsen’s Audio Today 2021 Study Says AM/FM Listening Hits Highest Level in Over a Year. The just released Audio Today 2021 study from Nielsen Audio – from June 2021 online survey data based on a weighted sample of 1,000 among persons 18-plus – indicates “nine in 10 now feel life is becoming more normal, and they’re resuming pre-pandemic activities, spending and listening.” The study also finds that, “among the employed, two thirds are now working outside the home, up more than 70% since the height of lock-down in the spring of 2020. As a result, the AM/FM radio audience just recorded its highest levels in over a year across Nielsen’s PPM markets.” Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly adds, “Listening may have migrated into the home during the past year via smart speaker or mobile device, but now we’re tracking the audience shift back to pre-pandemic habits with in-car and out-of-home consumption increasing. All the while, radio’s value proposition for marketers hasn’t budged: it specializes in reaching consumers who are ready to spend right now, while they’re in the marketplace, and does so in a controlled environment which protects the advertiser’s reputation… Elsewhere in the audio universe, podcast usage — which flat-lined last year — is also growing again as millions of new listeners are engaging with the hottest new audio marketing opportunity. We’re approaching one million available podcasts, with something literally for everyone including radio broadcasters who are nimbly using on-demand audio as an extension of their on-air brands. The question now is how can advertisers reach the right audience in the right podcast?”

Gow Media’s SportsMap Radio Network Adds Three New Shows. The SportsMap Radio Network announces the launch of three new programs to its weekday lineup. They are: “Just Sayin It with Cole Thompson” (5:00 am to 7:00 am ET), “In My Opinion with Denton Day” (9:00 am to 11:00 am ET), and “High Frequency with Kevin Dziepak” (6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET). Thompson, who covers the NFL and college football for Sports Illustrated’s Fan Nation, says, “This is the start of something special. I just can’t thank the staff here at SportsMap enough for giving me the chance. Not everyone is lucky enough for this opportunity, but I will certainly make the most of it.” Day states, “I’m extremely thankful for the chance to host a weekday show. I started at the company nearly three years ago doing one live hour on Sunday mornings. Craig Larson and David Gow allowed me the creative freedom to grow and it’s very rewarding to have all that hard work lead to this exciting opportunity.” Dziepak, who spent the last eight years with WSCR, Chicago “670 The Score,” comments, “My goal is really simple: just have fun and try to provide an entertaining and enjoyable product for those listening. I want to widen the scope of the show beyond sports as well, integrating pop culture, TV, music and whatever else can spark conversation; sort of a cosmic gumbo.” Gow Media CEO David Gow states, “We have a number of partners who produce fabulous content for our network. I’m very excited about each of these new shows. The opportunity to produce original, informative and entertaining programs will always be an indispensable part of our core business model.”

Paul Mason to Lead Titans Radio for Cumulus Nashville. Programming pro Paul Mason is appointed to lead programming operations for Titans Radio for Cumulus Media Nashville. The company says that Mason will continue to serve as program director for sports talk WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” and Middle Tennessee sports audio. The appointment comes after Cumulus and the NFL club extended their multi-year partnership for WGFX to serve as the official radio broadcasting home of the Tennessee Titans and Titans Radio. Longtime executive producer Rhett Bryan remains in his role with Titans Radio. Cumulus Nashville vice president and market manager Allison Warren comments, “From the beginning, we were seeking a creative visionary with a passion for sports entertainment to lead ‘104.5 The Zone,’ the dominant sports destination in Middle Tennessee. Clearly, Paul has stepped into that role and done exceptional work. Adding programming operations oversight to Titans Radio is a natural next step for Paul and we are confident he’ll continue to deliver the best live and local sports content to fans on both WGFX and Titans Radio.” Mason states, “I am excited to work with this amazing group of broadcasters. Mike Keith, coach Dave McGinnis, executive producer Rhett Bryan, and the entire Titans Radio team are among the best in sports, and I’m humbled to be a part of it. I also want to thank Allison Warren and [VP of programming operations] Charlie Cook for their confidence in me.”

TALKERS News Notes. Electronic voting firm Dominion Voting Systems is suing conservative video platforms OAN and Newsmax for defamation, alleging that they “manufactured, endorsed, repeated, and broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies” about the company, relative to the presidential election of 2020. The complaint says they did so despite knowing the claims were false. Newsmax has issued the following statement regarding the suit: “While Newsmax has not reviewed the Dominion filing, in its coverage of the 2020 presidential elections, Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the president, his advisors and members of Congress — Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press.”…..Focus360 announces that Forever Media is now a client as 29 Forever Media brands will be included in Focus360’s exclusive Jelli Plus networks including Jelli Male Plus, Jelli Female Plus and Jelli Music Plus. Focus360 CEO Phil Brown comments, “I’m elated to welcome such a storied media company to our Jelli Plus lineups. Forever Media covers some of the largest markets on the East Coast with incredible brands that super-serve their local audience. I’m honored that they have given us the opportunity to share that relationship with our advertising partners.”…..Edison Research unveils the results of its U.S. Top 50 Podcast chart for Q2 of 2021. The list ranks the 50 biggest podcasts by audience size, based on the Podcast Consumer Tracking Report (which Edison says is the only measurement based on actual listening, not downloads). The top three shows based on measurement from Q3 2020 – Q2 2021 are: “The Joe Rogan Experience,” “The Daily,” and “Crime Junkie.” You can see the rest of this Top 50 report here…..Public radio outlet WVXU, Cincinnati – operated by Cincinnati Public Radio – is dropping its music programming and will go all news/talk as of August 14, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The organization says its goal is to “bring a wider diversity of voices to Cincinnati airwaves.” It will use NPR, American Public Media, and other programming to fill its schedule.

Longtime Public Radio Broadcaster Neal Conan Dies at 71. The NPR website has Neal Conan’s obituary here. Conan passed away in Hawaii after a battle with glioblastoma. He was host of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” for 11 years, until NPR cancelled the show in 2013. During his lifelong public radio career, he served with WBAI, New York and with NPR in numerous capacities, including as executive producer of “All Things Considered” and as news director.

COVID-19 Delta Variant & Masks Controversy, Cuomo Resigns, Infrastructure Bill/Dems’ Budget Resolution, Senate GOP Blocks Voting Bill, Social Media Suspensions, Dominion Lawsuit, and Prince Andrew Sued Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/10). The rate of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. and the hotly debated mask policies for school children; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigns yet maintains innocence; the U.S. Senate passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the Senate Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget resolution; Republicans in the Senate block Democrats’ attempts to revive the For the People voting act; Twitter suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene and YouTube suspends Rand Paul for “pandemic misinformation”; electronic voting firm Dominion sues OAN and Newsmax over “stolen election” broadcasts; and Britain’s Prince Andrew is sued by Virginia Giuffre for sexual abuse were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.