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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

| August 17, 2022

Guardian Angels Have Significant Presence as NYC Crime Deterrent as Curtis Sliwa Breaks New Ground on WABC. In the late 1970s, New York City was a modern-day equivalent of the Wild West. Murder and violent crime were the norm. A trip on the subway was an exercise in urban survival. Residents of the city resigned themselves to that unfortunate reality as the politicians and police seemed powerless. However, a young man from Brooklyn, a former Jesuit student, felt someone had to do something. Curtis Sliwa stepped forward. What started as a group of Sliwa and a dozen other dedicated volunteers riding the subways of New York to serve as protectors of everyday law-abiding citizens, grew into the “Guardian Angels” that residents of the Big Apple have come to know and love. With their distinctive red berets, they are as New York as Central Park or a potato knish. They operate under the motto “we dare to care” and have proved it over and over through the years, in some cases with their lives. These days, the Guardian Angels have chapters in 13 countries and over 100 cities and the terrible spike in street crime gripping the Big Apple has made them more relevant than ever. While the original hometown group of 13 has grown to thousands across the globe, the mission has not wavered as Sliwa puts it, “To make a positive change in the community by involving citizens to step forward and take an active role. While the classic street patrols are the lifeblood of the organization, we all know that reaching the youth in our neighborhoods, especially the most at risk, is crucial. Once again, the Guardian Angels is meeting the need.” The “Junior Angels” program, their youth outreach programs, and their Washington Heights Community Center, provides help for kids with everything from homework to nutrition while getting them actively involved in their community. Since his recent high-profile campaign for mayor of New York as the Republican standard bearer, Sliwa has returned to the airwaves of juggernaut talker WABC with a powerful midday 12:15 pm -1:00 pm program, “The Curtis Sliwa Show,” that TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “extremely creative and truly ground breaking in its utilization of satire, hard-hitting commentary and subtle sarcasm that appeals to the listeners’ intelligence.” Sliwa tells TALKERS, “I will push into new realms that have not been approached with ‘theatre of the mind’ broadcasts during the height of the day. It will become the alternative to straight non-stop repetitive political talk. The satire and parodies that I am doing can win over whole new audiences.” Pictured above: noted former radio producer and Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan riding the East Side E subway train with a couple of patrolling Guardian Angels this past Sunday (8/14).

Audacy Trimming Payroll with On-Air Staff Reductions. In the wake of Audacy’s second quarter financial report for 2022 in which company president and CEO David Field cited “declining macroeconomic conditions and ad market headwinds” as the reason for the company’s top line growth of just 5%, the company is reducing its payroll. Audacy, like its competitors, has been taking steps to build a multi-platform media company and, as a result of the economics Field referred to, is being forced to make cuts in areas where growth has been the most limited – over-the-air radio. Some of the cuts being reported include all of the local sports talk personalities at sports talk WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “The Fan,” including LeRoy Butler and Gary Ellerson (as reported by the Milwaukee Business Journal). WSSP’s website reveals its programming now consists solely of CBS Sports Radio shows. Last week, sports talk host Jerry Coleman revealed his exit from WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” in a tweet.

KFI, Los Angeles Reporter Corbin Carson Wins NABJ Honor for Documentary. KFI, Los Angeles news reporter Corbin Carson has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists with its “Salute to Excellence Award” for Best Documentary for his work on “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach.” iHeartMedia says the powerful two-hour documentary focuses on property in Manhattan Beach that was stolen from the Bruce family through eminent domain in the 1920s amid threats from the KKK. The feature includes exclusive interviews with historians, protestors, critics, and the Bruce family about racism, reparations, and a yearlong movement to return the $20 million-dollar-plus beachfront property. “This Sand is My Sand: The Stolen Legacy of Bruce’s Beach” culminated with California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a bill to return the property to descendants of the Bruce family. Hear the documentary here.

Salem Promotes Jon Latzer to VP/GM of Salem Surround. Rising from his position as digital sales director to vice president and general manager for Salem Media Group‘s Salem Surround is Jon Latzer. Latzer previously served with Alpha Media, CBS Radio and Katz. Latzer will report to Salem SVP of Broadcast Digital Jamie Cohen. He says, “Jon has been an active, hands-on leader in broadcast for years, but his last six years at Salem and Alpha Media prepared him well for the fast-paced digital world. In Jon, we have a strong, experienced general manager, who will help us take Salem Surround to the next level. Jon was ready for the next adventure in his career, and we are extremely fortunate to have him on the team.”

Cumulus Renews Deal with Benztown. This new deal extends the partnership between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and imaging firm Benztown. The two companies first partnered in 2011, creating one of the radio industry’s largest collections of production and imaging libraries. With the new multi-year agreement, Benztown will continue to provide radio imaging, production, voiceover, programming, and jingles services for Cumulus Media-owned radio stations and Westwood One syndicated programming. Westwood One will continue to represent the barter inventory for Benztown Branding, Benztown Voice, and Hollywood Radio Networks. Cumulus EVP of marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “We are committed to partnering with companies that provide best-in-class services for our affiliates. By extending our partnership with Benztown, our affiliates will be able to create the radio magic that listeners remember and advertisers seek for many years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes. The latest Latino Podcast Listener Report 2022 from Edison Research is published and among its findings are that 59% of U.S. Latinos age 18+ have ever listened to a podcast, a high mark for the measure. Just over half (51%) of U.S. Latinos have ever listened to a podcast in English, and 33% have ever listened to a podcast in Spanish. The U.S. Latino Podcast Listener report was commissioned by Adonde Media, LWC Studios, Libsyn, PRX, and SXM Media. The study found that video podcasts are popular among the U.S. Latino population. Seventy-six percent of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners consume podcasts with video component where they actively watch the video while listening. Sixty-six percent consume podcasts with video where they play the video in the background or minimize the video on their device. Edison Research senior director of research Gabriel Soto states, “Latinos in the U.S. control an impressive $1.9 trillion in purchasing power, and today’s data demonstrate how advertisers who support Latino podcast content are benefitting, while those who don’t are missing out.”…..Gemini XIII announces its new partnership with Jane Green, author of 18 New York Times bestselling books and a global household name in commercial women’s fiction, to form Emerald Audio, a new premium podcast network creating connection and community through authentic female-led storytelling. The first podcast to be produced by Emerald Audio is Jane Green’s Rainbow Girl, the story of a crumbling rock star marriage mired in drugs, infidelities, and black magic, set in 1979 and based on the characters from Green’s newest book, Sister Stardust, which was released in April. Green comments, “In today’s world, there are so many more ways for people to tell their stories outside of traditional publishing. To be focused on female-driven stories in the podcast medium is the most exhilarating thing I have worked on in years. Fiction, particularly female-driven fiction, is at the very beginning of its growth in that area, and there are so many opportunities for strong, powerful stories aimed at women. I couldn’t be more honored, and excited to work with Spencer [Brown], Charles [Steinhauer] and the entire team at Gemini XIII.”…..iHeartMedia and Tenderfoot TV announce the newest addition to their popular “Monster” podcast franchise titled “Le Monstre.” The podcast recounts the story of real-life monster Marc Dutroux – a serial killer, pedophile, and kidnapper whose crimes brought terror to Belgium in the 1980s and 1990s…..The Independent Broadcasters Association extends the registration period for member stations to participate in the IBA Fall 2022 National Cash Contest to this Friday (8/19) to give all IBA member stations time to sign up for the promotion. The contest begins on-air September 19 and stations must be members of the IBA to participate.

Primaries/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Issue, Georgia Election Probe, Inflation, Russia-Ukraine War, and U.S. Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16). Tuesday’s primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the matter of top secret documents; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s scheduled appearance in Atlanta for questioning in the 2020 election subversion investigation; the still-rising cost of food and the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the drought affecting the U.S. and causing water emergencies in the West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

| July 12, 2022

KBLA, Los Angeles Celebrates One-Year Anniversary; Scores High on Survey of Black Angelenos. The Los Angeles talk station that Tavis Smiley launched a little over a year ago calls itself “Unapologetically Progressive” and a recent study indicates that KBLA-AM “Talk 1580” is the “most trusted, credible and reliable source of information” for African Americans in Los Angeles. The study of 400 Blacks in the Los Angeles market was conducted by EVITARUS from June 4 to June 12 and concludes that KBLA “fills a void in providing relevant programming and content to the Black community” and emerged as “the station of choice” for the African American listener. Smiley says, “I am humbled by the response we have received from our target audience in this first year of operation. One never knows how the audience is going to receive a new concept, but I believed then as I do now that Black folk and progressives deserve better from talk radio. The amazing findings of this independent survey confirm our efforts and empower us to stay on the wall and keep building.”

Matt Pauley Joins KMOX, St. Louis for Sports Programs. Sports radio pro Matt Pauley joins Audacy’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis as host of the station’s 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Sports Open Line” program as well as host of the St. Louis Cardinals Radio Network’s pregame and postgame coverage. Pauley joins Audacy from his most recent work with Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk WKTI-FM “ESPN Milwaukee” covering the Brewers. Pauley succeeds Kevin Wheeler, who recently transitioned to host KMOX’s midday show alongside Amy Marxkors and Chris Rongey. Pauley says, “To say I am excited to join KMOX and the Cardinals Radio Network is beyond an understatement. To be able to come home to work for one of the most legendary stations in the country is a dream come true. There is no show in the country that can match ‘Sports Open Line’ when you look at the various people who have hosted it through the years and I am humbled to now be in that chair. I also can’t wait to talk to Cardinals fans across the country on a nightly basis. Their passion is unrivaled, and we will experience the highs and lows of the season every night together.”

WHP, Harrisburg to Debut Regionally Focused Travel Show. A new travel program titled, “Let’s Visit PA with Sandy Fenton,” is debuting on iHeartMedia news/talk WHP, Harrisburg. In collaboration with PA Tourism, the new syndicated travel show will broadcast Saturdays from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon and is heard on seven affiliate stations in addition to WHP. Fenton is a travel writer and broadcast veteran with over 40-years in the radio industry. She created and hosted a one-hour, weekly travel show called “Let’s Talk Travel with AAA” that aired from September 1993 to May 2022. Pennsylvania executive director of tourism Michael Chapaloney says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with iHeart and Sandy Fenton on this adventure which will spread the good word, the must-dos of travel to the masses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Sandy is one of the state’s biggest megaphones for tourism in PA and we are excited with this syndication our reach is greater than ever before.”

‘Liberty Station’ Podcast Joins Salem Podcast Network. A new podcast joins the growing lineup at Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network. “Liberty Station” – which launched in 2021 – is hosted by Rob McCoy (left) and Bryce Eddy (right) and includes commentary, analysis, and guest interviews on topics such as the Biblical foundations of American history, equipping pastors to become leaders in the culture, and understanding current events from a Christian worldview. Four episodes of the podcast will be released each week. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Rob and Bryce are culture warriors who are courageous and unafraid. They take on this battle with a biblical worldview. Think David versus Goliath, and we all know how that worked out for the giant. I am very excited to add their podcast to our platform.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow evening (7/13), Newsmax is presenting a live Arizona Republican Primary Debate at 7:00 pm at the Madison Center for the Arts, in Phoenix. John Bachman is serving as moderator for the debate between Jim Lamon, Blake Masters, and Mick McGuire. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy says, “People across Arizona are hungry to learn about the Republican candidates as they make their choice in this critical primary. Newsmax is glad to be actively involved across the nation in a series of Debate and Town Hall events to further voter awareness.”…..Emmis Communications Corporation announces a tender offer to repurchase up to one million shares of its Class A common stock, at prices of not greater than $3.75 nor less than $2.75 per share. The tender offer is scheduled to expire, unless extended by the company, at 5:00 pm ET on August 5. The company says, “Emmis management and its board of directors have evaluated our operations, strategy and expectations for the future and believe that the tender is a prudent use of Emmis’ financial resources given its business profile and assets. With the cessation of public quotations on Emmis’ Class A common stock through the OTC Market due to the implementation of SEC rule 15c2-11, Emmis also believes that a tender offer may provide liquidity for those shareholders looking for liquidity. The company will fund the purchase of tendered shares primarily from cash on hand and borrowings under an existing $1.6 million line of credit…..The Independent Broadcasters Association is partnering with BSMG Broadcasters & Sportscasters Mentoring Group that uses a mentor-apprentice model for learning and pays stations to participate. BSMG students train in local radio stations where they live. A team member from those stations serves as the mentor-instructor, and the stations are paid for their expertise. Stations may use the payments as they see fit. BSMG handles all the administrative tasks, provides the educational materials, as well as program oversight.

Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Musk vs Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, and Webb Telescope Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/11). The November midterm elections and whether Democrats want Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024; the high price of gas & food, the fall of tech stocks, and concerns about a recession; the ongoing January 6 hearings and expected testimony from former White House strategist Steve Bannon; Elon Musk’s attempt to end his Twitter acquisition; the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s arms deal with Iran; the spread of the coronavirus BA.5 subvariant and the arrival of new subvariant BA.2.75; and the first image from the Webb telescope is revealed were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

| December 23, 2021

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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Shake Your Tree,” looks back at this past week of 12/20 – 12/24. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJim Polito, talk show host, WXKS, Boston/WHJJ, Providence/WTAG, Worcester/WHYN, Springfield; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network /physician; Rob Carson, talk show host, Newsmax TV-Radio; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPodcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now 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.

Jared Merves Named SVP of Digital for Cumulus Media. Digital media pro Jared Merves joins Cumulus Media as senior vice president, digital, effective January 18, 2022. Merves was most recently chief revenue officer of Distributed Media Lab, which had acquired Wundervue, a company he founded to support media companies and advertising agencies in their digital transformation, operations, product development, and growth opportunities. In his new role with Cumulus, Merves will “lead and further shape the company’s digital strategy with a focus on generating revenue across multiple Cumulus Media platforms and channels.” Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner says, “Jared has been at the forefront of digital media throughout his career and has helped many companies propel their businesses forward through innovation. Digital has been a critical and successful pillar of our business strategy, and Jared brings the experience, creativity and technical expertise to build on that foundation and catapult us to the next level.”

HC Holiday Extra: Guest Hosting a Show Next Week? – Consultant Holland Cooke offers some advice to talk hosts sitting in for full-timers on vacation – what he calls “Talk Radio Audition Week.” But if you’re guest-hosting, this tends to be a perennially slow news week. In this column, HC suggests four call-in topics. Read more here.

Connoisseur Media’s EVP/CFO Driscoll to Step Down; Price Named New CFO. The company’s co-founder and current executive vice president and chief financial officer, Michael O. Driscoll, will step down from his CFO role on December 31. Driscoll has been CFO of Connoisseur Media since July 2004 and has been working with CEO and co-founder Jeffrey D. Warshaw for more than 25 years. Driscoll has been with Connoisseur and Warshaw since he was hired as CFO of Connoisseur Communications in 1996. He has handled financing, acquisitions, human resources and operational issues and has worked hand-in-hand with Warshaw in building the current company over the last 17 years. He remains at Connoisseur as EVP but will be stepping back from day-to-day management duties. Warshaw says, “Mike and I have worked together for a long time. In the years working with him, we have occasionally had different opinions, but never harsh words or arguments. I am glad in this new role he will get a chance to take some more time for travel and things he had wanted to do, but I look forward to still working together. He will always be my partner.” Assuming the SVP/CFO role on January 1 will be Oliver G. Price. He joined Connoisseur in 2012 and was most recently vice president of finance and accounting.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Announces Three Inductees into Hall of Fame. Heritage Charlotte news/talk station WBT-AM/FM announces that it will induct three personalities into the WBT Hall of Fame on April 9, 2022. John Stokes (left), Bob Lacey (center), and Jim Szoke (right) will be inducted as part of the Urban One station’s 100th Anniversary ceremony. John Stokes joined WBT in September of 1987 as the station’s news director.  For over 30 years, Stokes anchored the news in morning drive on the station, covering everything from the PTL scandal to Hurricane Hugo to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The original announcement of Stokes’ induction into the WBT hall of Fame was made upon his retirement from the station in 2019, but the celebration was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bob Lacey began his career at WBT in 1972 as one of the youngest regular on-air personalities ever on the station. Soon after, he began hosting the groundbreaking nighttime talk show, “Lacey Listens.” Three years later, he was promoted to host mornings, where he and partner Harold Johnson brought an edgy, modern sound to start the station’s daily lineup.  His top-rated show continued until 1980 when he moved on to television. Lacey ultimately returned to radio as part of the nationally syndicated “Bob & Sheri Show.” Arriving at WBT in 1986, Jim Szoke later became the station’s sports director during a time of major growth for the region’s sports market, including the launches of Charlotte’s NBA and NFL franchises.  In 1993, he helped secure the flagship station broadcast rights for WBT and two years later, he was named to the first-ever Carolina Panthers Radio Network crew, a role he still holds today.  He has gone on to broadcast more games for the Panthers than any voice in the team’s history.

TALKERS News Notes. If you’re still looking for some holiday programming, CBS News Radio is offering a radio version of “It’s a Wonderful Life!” – produced by the National Press Club and American Heritage magazine. CBS manager, affiliate services Amy Bolton says there are no network spots. If you’re interested, reach out to her at: boltona@cbsnews.com…..The Independent Broadcasters Association elects four new members to its board of directors. Tom Burns, owner, Technicom & Sauk Valley Broadcasting; Gary Berkowitz, president, Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting; Steve Clendenin, owner & general manager, WHGM-AM/FM; and Jim Jacobs, president, Radio Richmond, LLC are joining the board and begin their three-year terms on January 1. Executive director Ron Stone says, “The IBA is committed to having a board that is representative of its members and elected by the members. Every year, one-third of the board turns over to keep fresh ideas flowing. No existing Board member may serve more than one three-year term. This is our first election since the IBA was formed in April 2020, and we had over a dozen candidates that accepted nomination to fill the four open seats.”

Salem Central Arkansas Listener Wins Mortgage Payments for a Year. The four Salem Media Group stations in central Arkansas, including news/talk KXDE-FM “The Answer,” partnered with Sax Homes to give one person the chance to have their mortgage payments made for all of 2022. Pictured above is winner Skylar Oswalt of Benton, Arkansas who was randomly chosen from more than 1 million entries.

Economy/Build Back Better Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 20-24. The state of the U.S. economy and Senator Joe Manchin’s thumbs down to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At this week was the raging COVID-19 Omicron variant, vaccines and mandates at #2, followed by the January 6 investigation at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Friday, November 19, 2021

| November 19, 2021

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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled “Biden Passed Gas” looks back at this past week of 11/15 – 11/19. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dave Ramsey, talk show host/CEO, Ramsey Solutions; Lars Larson, talk show host, Compass Media Networks; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; and Sean Spicer, talk show host, NewsmaxTV. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now 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.

Salem Los Angeles Re-Ups Horn In AM Drive. A new contract agreement between Jennifer Horn and Salem Media Group will keep Horn as co-host of “The Morning Answer” on Los Angeles news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer.” Horn and Grant Stinchfield co-host the 6:00 am – 9:00 am show, which is simulcast in the Inland Empire (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario) on Salem’s KTIE “AM 590 The Answer.” Salem vice president of spoken word Phil Boyce remarks, “Waking up Los Angeles is one of the most important jobs in radio – Jen and Grant have figured out the formula. They always have a smile, but can deliver the day’s top news with a dose of reality. Salem is very proud to showcase these hosts.” KRLA & KTIE program director Chuck Tyler notes, “Jen and Grant are the most talented team I have ever had the privilege of working with. They have the rare ability to cover and comment on serious issues, while having some fun at the same time.” Horn adds, “Once in a career you get a golden opportunity and this is it. It has been the ultimate honor working with Salem and our local team to develop a morning show that is making incredible strides in the Los Angeles market. Grant Stinchfield  is the ultimate professional. He brings a background in journalism, a unique perspective, and sense of humor. It’s been so much fun to partner and build chemistry with him.” Newsmax host Stinchfield came aboard to join Horn on KRLA & KTIE six months ago (5/18).

 

Lieberman Lands In The IE as iHM’s Senior VP/Sales. Three-year Townsquare Media Tri-Cities, Washington market president Ryan Lieberman is named senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five-station cluster in Southern California’s Inland Empire (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario). Lieberman – whose appointment is effective immediately – spent almost two decades with CBS Radio (now Audacy) in both Los Angeles and Chicago. iHeartMedia San Diego, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario president Melissa Forrest states, “We look forward to having Ryan on board. His knowledge, leadership, and passion will be a tremendous addition to the region and to our team.” Lieberman adds, “I am thrilled to return to Southern California as part of the iHeartMedia family by joining the Riverside team. Having spent the better part of my career competing against iHeartMedia, and being envious of how their teams execute marketing solutions for their clients, I’m excited to lend my expertise to an already high-functioning team.” News/talk KFOO “1440 AM Black Information Network” and sports talk KPWK “AM 1350 Fox Sports” are among iHeartMedia’s Inland Empire outlets, as are rhythmic CHR KGGI; rock KTMQ; and alternative KMYT.

 

iHeart Pledges To Create 180 Jobs in Downtown Nashville. The iHeartMedia commitment would generate 180 jobs in downtown Nashville over the next five years. While the company’s “Music City” radio stations (news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 98.3 & 1510”; Black Information Network affiliate WNRQ-HD2; classic rock WNRQ-FM; CHR WRVW; urban contemporary WUBT; and country WSIX) are housed in a separate Music Row facility, the new jobs will be based in the company’s 40,000 square-foot downtown facility, which opened last year. As first reported by the Nashville Business Journal, the Tennessee Funding Board, “unanimously approved a $1.25 million grant to iHeartMedia [yesterday, 11/18]. The company was finalizing a lease as the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early-2020.” At the time, iHM was billing the downtown location as a “second headquarters” for its digital division. The state grant reportedly equals 44% of the $2.85 million that iHeartMedia is spending on its Nashville expansion. Per the NBJ article and state records, “The grant will be used for building retrofit, fixture improvements, lease payments, and tenant improvements. A headcount did not become public until Wednesday’s meeting of the Funding Board.” State records indicate that the 180 jobs will pay an average of $51.82 an hour.

Report: WarnerMedia Planning An Audience-Measurement Data Operation. While this would be for television, Variety reports that WarnerMedia is directly targeting Nielsen Holdings, which – of course – has had a stranglehold on the TV ratings business for decades. According to Variety, WarnerMedia is talking to as many as 15 different measurement vendors with expectations it can test possibilities in next year’s first quarter. WarnerMedia data/research chief Andrea Zapata opines to Variety, “There has got to be a better alternative in measurement solutions.” At the same time though, she comments, “Nielsen is definitely a part of our business as usual and can earn a place in our future.” As the James Aycock-written Variety article mentions, “Nielsen has taken a number of hits from its media partners, particularly complaints of mismeasurement during the COVID-19 pandemic that culminated in losing its MRC accreditation.”

Today’s Homeowner Media Acquires On The House Media. After a 35-year home improvement media career, James and Morris Carey (The Carey Brothers, pictured at the right) are retiring to focus on their family remodeling business, and have sold their On The House Media to Today’s Homeowner Media. The final installment of “On The House with the Carey Brothers,” will air on its 100+ affiliates Christmas Day (12/25). Then one week later (1/1/2022), Today’s Homeowner Media will take ownership of On The House Media’s website, digital content, and social channels. Today’s Homeowner Media president/host Danny Lipford comments, “I’m both happy and sad about James and Morris’ decision to hang up their headphones and step down from their 35-year home improvement media career. They are legends in the business and will be missed. I’m glad they’ve enjoyed such a successful run, and grateful that I’m able to carry on their media tradition and legacy. Today’s Homeowner looks forward to featuring their articles, videos, and, hopefully, airing on the many radio stations they’ve earned during their career.” James Carey notes, “Morris and I have been moved by the tremendous outpouring that we have received since announcing our retirement. The positive comments, and expression of gratitude and support have been overwhelming and heartening.” Morris Carey adds, “Danny [Lipford] is a warm, pleasant and knowledgeable guy. I can’t think of anyone to whom I would rather pass on the torch.” Currently in its 13th year, the weekly, two-hour “Today’s Homeowner” is hosted by Lipford and author Joe Truini; it has 320 affiliates.

TALKERS News Notes. Recent Comscore data details continued growth of Newsmax’s online properties, including Newsmax.com. According to Comscore, Newsmax is now the #2 conservative news brand online, behind Fox News. Newsmax reports that its online increase mirrors “tremendous audience growth.” Meanwhile – per Nielsen – Newsmax TV is the fourth-highest-rated cable news channel … Syndicated host Erick Erickson’s annual three-hour “Erick Erickson Christmas Show” combines Erickson’s theological background; conversations about Christmas; and Christmas music. “Christmas is the perfect time to focus on the big picture and not the daily news headlines,” he comments. “[Our] Christmas show is designed so everyone can come together, exhale after a crazy year, and focus on the holidays.” Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB-FM “Atlanta’s News & Talk” is the flagship for “The Erick Erickson Christmas Show,” which is available on a first come/first served basis. It can be broadcast anytime from 6:00 am -12:00 midnight on (Friday) December 24 and (Saturday) December 25 … The five-station Cox Media Group Tampa cluster – which includes news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” – is teaming with Metropolitan Ministries today (Friday, 11/19) to host “Feed The Bay.” All five CMG Tampa outlets are encouraging listeners to donate food items to Metropolitan Ministries’ donation location. Cox Media Group Tampa vice president and market manager Keith Lawless notes, “This is the ninth consecutive year that Cox Media Group Tampa has been a partner with Metropolitan Ministries for the holidays. We are starting to get back to normal, but there is still a tremendous need to feed those in our community.”

U.S. Podcast Report. Top network reports are ranked by average weekly downloads and average weekly users in accordance with v2.1 of the IAB Podcast technical guidelines. They are measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics and cover the reporting period of October 4 – October 31 (2021). Stitcher Media remained first on the top networks report with 39.5 million average weekly downloads/10.7 million average weekly users. It was followed by NPR with 32.3 million average weekly downloads/7.2 million average weekly users. Coming in third was Audacy with 31.8 million average weekly downloads/10.2 million average weekly users. Among the top twenty networks, new podcast network ViacomCBS ranked ninth in average weekly downloads/tenth in average weekly users. New shows debuting this period include “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition” (ViacomCBS); “Over My Dead Body” (Wondery); “Fantasy Football Today” (Viacom CBS); and “The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe” (Audioboom). Full results of the U.S. Podcast Report can be seen at https://www.tritondigital.com/resources/podcast-reports.

IBA, Vipology Sign Multiyear Extension. The pact with the Independent Broadcasters Association retains Vipology as IBA’s exclusive digital consultant and partner. In its first year, Vipology created the IBA’s member site; scheduled/moderated over 60 info-webinars; and handled IBA’s national contesting. Independent Broadcasters Association chief executive officer Ron Stone comments, “There would be no IBA without Vipology’s vision, technology, and execution. I’m thrilled to continue to have Vipology on-board to advise and provide the best digital products and services.” Vipology chief executive officer Chris Peaslee notes, “We are thrilled to continue to work with the IBA; dedicated to the digital success of the IBA and its members; and offering the latest digital solutions at the industry’s lowest prices. We’re proud to be standing side-by-side with  Ron [Stone] and IBA members.” The IBA was established last year (July 2020) to serve the needs of independent radio stations and groups across the country; it represents a membership base of 1,500 stations.

California Combo Rebrands From VPR To KVPR. As of this past Wednesday (11/17), Valley Public Radio (NPR affiliate) news/talk-classical KVPR, Fresno and KPRX, Bakersfield rebrands from “VPR” to “KVPR” and has a new logo. A driving force for the switch was a conflict with Vermont Public Radio, which uses the “VPR” name, as well. KVPR president and general manager Joe Moore states that, “Over the years, we’ve gone by so many different names – ‘KVPR,’ ‘FM-89,’ ‘VPR,’ ‘KPRX,’ ‘Valley Public Radio,’ and ‘NPR.’ It has led to clutter, and at times confusion. As more and more users access our content online, ‘FM-89’ has proven to be less than adequate as a name for the station. There are multiple ‘FM-89s’ across the country, and the term isn’t really relevant for non-broadcast content.” The rebranding includes a renaming of its Audiophile Magazine to the KVPR Magazine.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

| August 24, 2021

Emmis Announces Promotions at ‘The Fan’ and WIBC-FM in Indy. At Emmis Communications in Indianapolis, the company announces a series of promotions and changes in the programming department that largely affect sports talk “93.5 FM & 107.5 FM The Fan.” David Wood remains vice president of programming for the entire Emmis Indianapolis cluster and he adds programming responsibilities of both “The Fan” and news/talk WIBC-FM. Wood previously programmed “The Fan” from 2010-2013. Todd Meyer is promoted to assistant program director of “The Fan” from his previous role as executive producer. Matt Hibbeln continues in his role as assistant program director for WIBC-FM and will assume additional programming responsibilities. Emmis Indianapolis market president Taja Graham states, “Collectively, these three Emmis programming veterans have more than 60 years of experience at Emmis Indianapolis and have all shown an enduring commitment to these iconic Indianapolis brands. The continuity they bring, coupled with their creativity and hard work, will ensure Emmis Indianapolis continues to grow and serve as the market leader.”

Rachel Vigil Named Digital Host/Producer at ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk outlet KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” announces that Rachel Vigil joins the station as its new digital host/producer. Bonneville Denver says Vigil’s content will be distributed on the station’s social media platforms and website, DenverFan.com. She’ll also be making regular radio appearances with 104.3 The Fan’s on-air talent. Vigil was most recently serving with the Western Athletic Conference, where she spent the past three years as their on-air talent and broadcasting coordinator. Also, during the past three years, she worked as host and reporter for Kroenke Sports and Entertainment’s Colorado Rapids, including with Altitude Sports. KKFN-FM program director Raj Sharan says, “Rachel’s infectious personality and lifelong passion for Denver sports just explodes through the camera and onto your screen. We can’t wait to watch her creativity run wild creating all types of content as the face of The Fan’s digital brand.”

Edison Research: Streaming Accounts for 12% of Radio Listening. According to data from the most recent Share of Ear study from Edison Research, 12% of all AM/FM radio listening is being done via streaming, while 88% of listening is to an over-the-air radio signal. Edison Research director of research Laura Ivey says, “There are many outlets for Americans to listen to free broadcast radio, including the smartphones that we know are ubiquitous in our population. To realize growth, radio has to capitalize on its content being available beyond just a traditional radio receiver. We know that the pandemic has shifted U.S. listeners from their cars, where traditional radio is easily available, to their homes, where radio must be accessed on different devices. The challenge is how to convince listeners to follow radio content on different devices – radio not on ‘a radio.’” See more about Share of Ear here.

Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2021 Inductees Plus 33 Legends of Radio to Take Their Place in the HoF. The Museum of Broadcast Communications reveals the eight new inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2021 as well as a new class of Legacy inductees. The 2021 Radio Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the in-person 2021 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, October 28, at Chicago’s Wintrust Grand Banking Hall. This year’s inductees are: Brother Wease Radio 95.1, Rochester, Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more); Elliot Segal – DC 101, Washington, Active Local/Regional (10 years or more); Dan Patrick – The Dan Patrick Show,  Longstanding Networks/Syndication (20 years or more); Kim Komando – The Kim Komando Show, Active Network/Syndication (10 Years or more); Javier Romero – WAMR-FM/Amor 107.5, Music Format On-Air Personality;  Preston & Steve – 93.3 WMMR, Philadelphia, Spoken Word On-Air Personality; Erica Farber, President and CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; and Bill Siemering, Founding Director of Programming and Founding Member of the Board of Directors, NPR. In addition, to honor the 100th year of radio, the Radio Hall of Fame has established a Legends induction, recognizing the talents and efforts of air personalities, programmers and operators who although they have died, spent their lives contributing their talents to the industry. While the industry celebrates 100 years of existence, the industry’s Hall of Fame is only 33 years into existence. The centennial milestone provides an opportunity to recognize the talents and efforts of 33 individuals in 2021, as well. Late spoken-word broadcasters in this group include: Dr. Joy Browne, syndicated talk radio air personality based from WOR-AM, New York; Barry Gray, talk radio air personality in 1940-1980s in New York on WOR and WMCA; and Toni Grant, talk radio air personality in Los Angeles in 1970-1980s on KABC-AM and others via syndication. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin states, “I’m thrilled to welcome this deserving Class of 2021 and look forward to celebrating their inductions in late October in Chicago. In addition, it’s my honor to announce and recognize the talents of individuals who provided the foundation for so much of our industry’s success but have not been yet recognized by this institution. These individuals have earned their place within the Radio Hall of Fame. We used the opportunity of this medium’s 100th anniversary to undertake a review of the industry’s past performers and operators, to identify a select group of industry legends that left us before they could be properly recognized. We honor their contributions and their memory by these inductions.” See more about the inductees here.

Glenn Beck Show Helps Raise $27 million for Rescue of Christians in Afghanistan. The nationally syndicated “Glenn Beck Program” is working with his Nazarene Fund to raise money to rescue the estimated 5,000 Christians – mostly women and children – trapped in Afghanistan. Last week, Beck asked listeners to his Premiere Networks show to “give until it hurts” with the goal of raising $20 million by Friday. Through Beck’s non-profit Mercury One, The Nazarene Fund works to rescue Christians and other religious minorities from persecution and slavery in the Middle East and across the globe. His listeners responded and by the end of Thursday’s radio program, donations reached $13 million, and by Friday morning, they exceeded $20 million. To date, the total raised is $27 million. Beck says, “In times like these, what I believe to be the greatest audience ever assembled, has given me, the Afghan people, and the world, something so important right now – HOPE. It’s the power of one.”

TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday (8/26), at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey deal with the ongoing pandemic. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott leads the news and digital departments in helping New Jersey get ready to return to the classroom after more than a year of remote and hybrid learning. He says, “From learning loss to social anxiety, students will be dealing with many issues as they go back to school. We will provide clarity on a variety of topics from mask mandates to after-school activities and sports.” The program’s on-air panel will feature: Richard Bozza, executive director at the New Jersey Association of School Administrators; Dr. Steven Tobias, a noted child psychologist and the director of the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown; and representatives from the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union. Scott and his guests will also answer live, call-in questions from listeners throughout the hour…..Independent Broadcasters Association members will have the opportunity to hear from Michael Doyle “The Sales MD” this Thursday (8/26) at 4:00 pm ET during a sales webinar. IBA CEO Ron Stone says, “Michael Doyle is the man behind many of radio’s biggest sales success stories over the past 25 years and he will share his thoughts on how radio can take advantage of the sales landscape post COVID-19 in this IBA members only webinar.”…..SiriusXM talk personality Joe Madison will co-emcee this weekend’s March On For Voting Rights in Washington DC with R&B singer and radio host Al B. Sure! The two hosts will lead a day-long march through Washington, DC and the speaker’s program which will include human and civil rights leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and many others who will issue a call to action to pass federal voting rights legislation.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces 2021 Leadership Awards. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the recipients of the 2021 Leadership Awards that are given annually in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large. The Awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast, 7:00 am, Tuesday, October 12 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show. This year’s honorees are: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO, Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton, retired, EVP, media relations, National Association of Broadcasters. The Broadcasters Foundation will also present the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award during the Breakfast. That honoree will be announced shortly.

Afghanistan, COVID-19, Global Shipping Woes, Flooding & Wildfires, Newsom Recall, and Hochul Replaces Cuomo Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/23). The U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban’s takeover, and the blame being laid on President Joe Biden; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the battle over mask and vaccine mandates, and the Pfizer vaccine gets FDA approval; the COVID-affected global shipping network and its effect on retail supplies; the deadly flooding in Middle Tennessee and the wildfires ravaging California; the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom; and Kathy Hochul takes over for Andrew Cuomo as governor of New York were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.