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Friday, January 14, 2022

| January 14, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Mandate Shmandate,” looks back at this past week of 1/10 to 1/14. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSDan Mandis, talk show host/PD, Supertalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; Derek Hunter, talk show host, WCBM, Baltimore/USA Radio NetworkLynn Woolley, talk show host, KJCE, Austin; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Frank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each weekend on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; 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 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.

Glenn Beck Battling Second COVID-19 Infection. During an appearance on Mark Levin’s Westwood One syndicated radio show, Premiere Networks talk radio star Glenn Beck revealed he has COVID-19 for the second time. Numerous news outlets picked up on the story, including Newsweek. Beck told Levin that his whole family had COVID in December of 2020 so they didn’t get vaccinated. He said he’s taking ivermectin and despite his second infection, feels great. “I am great, Mark. I am great…despite having COVID and seeing the destruction of our country, I’m great. I mean, I’ve been doing my show…It’s a lighter case but it’s now starting to go into my lungs today, a little disturbing. But I’m on all the medications and treatments and everything else, so we’ll see.” He also said he’s not taking monoclonal antibodies because they don’t “seem to be working for the new strain. But I’m on ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine—what is it, Fluvoxin? I’m on a bunch of different…I mean, my doctors are hitting it really hard.” He told Levin that he’s been battling COVID for about a week but is not concerned about the virus reaching his lungs. “Everybody’s getting sick because it’s very contagious but it’s not nearly as deadly. I’m a fatty fat fatso, so you know, that’s probably not the best thing…And I’ve got some other issues, but that’s just the way it is. We have got to move on with our lives.”

2021 Social Impact Report Reveals ‘Audacy Serves’ Achievements. The company releases its 2021 Social Impact Report that spotlights key achievements from its ongoing companywide Audacy Serves initiative. The report encompasses Audacy’s commitment to several pillars of impact: diversity, equity and inclusion, mental health, civic education, the environment, children’s health, and veterans and service members. Some of the achievements the company highlights include, in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion category, the arrival of eight new fellows – recent graduates from historically underrepresented communities within the industry have joined the team in a variety of sales, marketing and content roles. Yearlong fellowship experiences include curated on-the-job learning and growth opportunities; in the Mental Health category the company produced its 5th annual “I’m Listening” broadcast with influential names like Doja Cat, Luke Combs and Demi Lovato, who shared their personal struggles with mental health. The event helped Audacy connect with more than 200 million people and raise more than $800,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; in the Civic Education category, Audacy’s “Engaged Impressions” study found that 71% of weekly radio listeners tune in because they feel the content is relevant to their community. Audacy says research like this indicates that listeners continue to trust local media. Audacy further invested in its news business, adding over 50 journalists in eight of its newsrooms across the country in an effort to meet that demand for trusted quality content. Audacy VP of social impact Sarah Harris comments, “This report reflects our unwavering commitment to putting our values in action and our passion to use our collective voice for good within each of our pillars of impact. We are thrilled to share these significant results and moving stories of real human connection unfolding in our communities across the country.” You can see the complete report here.

Three New Shows Added to BetQL Network. Beginning this Sunday (1/16), three new shows will debut across Audacy’s BetQL Network. “BetQL 5 Star Weekend,” (8:00 am – 10:00 am ET) is hosted by KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh host Chris Mack and CBS Sports Radio’s Damon Amendolara and uses BetQL’s star rating system to preview all of the best bets for the day and the week ahead. “Sunday’s Bets,” (12:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET) is hosted by WTEM-AM, Washington morning show host Travis Thomas and BetQL Network hosts Quinton Mayo and Michael Jenkins and keeps listeners up to date with all of the best action from a busy day in sports. “BetNation,” (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET) is hosted by CBS Sports Radio’s Shaun Morash and Audacy’s alternative national evening host Kevan Kenney as they take the pulse of the nation from a sports betting perspective. Audacy VP of sports Matt Volk comments, “As football season turns the corner for the home stretch, we’re pleased to introduce three dynamic Sunday shows to help bettors get ready for all the action across the sports world. These three programs will continue to put fans in position to win on Sundays, no matter the season.” Announced at the same time is news that BetQL writer Lucy Burdge will join “Back to the Futures” and co-host alongside Brandon Sprague, Sunday nights from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.

TALKERS News Notes. The Little Rock stations owned by Cumulus Media report that their December 10 “Festival of Stars Toy and Donation Drive and Radiothon” raised $363,249 for Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Arkansas Children’s Northwest, the state’s local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The stations, including news/talk KARN-FM “News Radio 1029,” broadcast for 12 hours to encourage donations. The annual event has raised more than $3.6 million over the past 17 years…..The pro football playoffs begin this weekend and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting play-by-play coverage from all six games of the NFL Super Wild Card Playoffs. Scott Graham will host the pregame/halftime/postgame shows for the Saturday and Sunday games. Rich Eisen will be the studio host for the Monday night playoff game…..Beginning this Monday (1/17), Field of 68’s nightly college basketball show, “The Field of 68 AFTER DARK,” will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. The show, currently broadcast on the network’s YouTube and social channels, is broadcast live nightly from 11:00 pm until 12:00 midnight ET and features a rotating cast of prominent sports figures. The lineup of rotating voices will include stadium insider Jeff Goodman, former college stars Robbie Hummel, Randolph Childress, Ashton Gibbs and Terrence Oglesby, as well as veteran coaches Sean Miller, Archie Miller and Steve Prohm. Field of 68 founder Rob Dauster says, “There’s a major void right now in this space with regard to college basketball. This will give diehard college basketball fans somewhere to go each night from the start of the season through the national title game to not only be informed, but also entertained.”…..iHeartRadio announces the launch of “Welcome to Our Show,” a “New Girl” rewatch podcast hosted by show stars Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris. Together, the trio will rewatch the Emmy-nominated series to reveal never-before-told stories, their favorite memories from creating the show, and divulge moments and scenes left on the cutting room floor. The first episode of “Welcome to Our Show” drops on January 24.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, Vaccines, Masks, Mandates and School Closings Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 10-14. The fast-spreading Omicron variant, vaccine and mask mandates and battles over school policies combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy, soaring inflation and the ongoing supply chain and labor shortage issues, followed by the January 6 Investigation and the 2022 midterm elections tied at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the 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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

| October 19, 2021

Bongino: ‘Me or the Vaccine Mandate.’ Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Dan Bongino told listeners to his Monday (10/18) program that he’s issuing an ultimatum to Westwood One owner Cumulus Media that he will quit the radio show he’s been hosting since May 24 of this year if the company insists on mandating that workers return to the offices/studios after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The Washington Examiner reports that the author and media personality is vaccinated but he is “standing up against the company’s ‘political decision’ so that people without platforms could make a ‘private and personal medical decision.’” He tells his employer, “You can have me, or you can have a vaccine mandate, but you can’t have both.” He added, “I have no intentions of letting these guys get let go, get harassed, because they made a private and personal medical decision on only one of the biggest issues of our time. There is a real thing called natural immunity. There is an even realer thing called freedom and liberty. This is a constitutional republic. People have the right to make their own medical decisions.” There’s been no public response from Cumulus Media management so far.

Salem Radio Network Host Dennis Prager Contracts COVID-19. According to a story by KUSA-TV, Denver, Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager has contracted COVID-19, missing three days of his program last week. Prager was back on the air on Monday (10/18) and told his listeners that he had hoped to get COVID to achieve natural immunity. Prager attended a campaign event in Colorado Springs hosted by Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl on October 10. He said, “That is what I hoped for the entire time. I engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them, knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID – which is, indeed, as bizarre as it sounded.” Obviously, it’s difficult to tell where Prager contracted the virus, be it at the event, traveling to or from Colorado, or elsewhere. Ganahl’s campaign issued the following statement: “The campaign was not aware Dennis had contracted COVID until the announcement on his show. We have not been made aware of anyone who attended the event outside of Dennis’ inner circle getting the virus. We are reaching out to all those who attended to make sure they are informed. We encourage those who attended, and all Coloradans for that matter, to get tested and follow CDC guidelines if they experience any COVID-like symptoms.” Prager told his listeners he credits his recovery to treatments including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Porretti to Lead Katz Digital Audio.  Radio sales pro Scott Porretti is promoted to president of Katz Digital Audio where he’ll continue to oversee all Katz Digital Audio offerings, manage relationships with an expansive roster of publishing and technology partners, and further the growth of podcasting and programmatic digital audio on behalf of current and new partners. He was most recently EVP of Katz Digital Audio. Porretti says, “We have seen an explosion of growth in the digital audio space that is not slowing, with more people listening on their various devices than ever before. In addition, an increasing number of data attribution companies have shown undeniable validation of the unique and positive impact digital audio has on advertisers looking to reach their consumers. I am so proud of what our team has accomplished and extremely excited to help shape where our industry is heading to support Katz’s ever-expanding position in the digital marketplace and help our clients execute effective digital audio campaigns.” Katz Media Group CEO Mark Gray comments, “Katz excels at helping brands reach and engage with consumers in meaningful, impactful ways. Scott’s in-depth knowledge and vast background in developing audio solutions across a variety of platforms has helped Katz grow its diverse digital offerings and proprietary technologies. Scott’s effective team leadership style, and his extraordinary vision in this marketplace, has catapulted Katz Digital to a place where it is now viewed by advertisers as a one-stop-shop to reach diverse audiences with unparalleled scale.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that iHeartMedia president, multiplatform group and president, Black Information Network Tony Coles joins its board of directors. Coles takes over the seat from iHeartMedia’s Darren Davis, who is retiring from the company at year’s end…..FOX News Media announces that its FOX News Digital closed out the third quarter of 2021 earning the top spot in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views, reaching over 5.2 billion multiplatform views (+10 percent vs Q2’21) and nearly 10.6 billion multiplatform total minutes (+8 percent vs Q2’21) for the second consecutive quarter, according to Comscore. The company goes on to say that in September, the digital network surpassed CNN.com in total multiplatform minutes for the seventh month in a row and outperformed all other news brands in the news competitive set, with 3.6 billion minutes, also according to Comscore. In September, the digital network notched over 1.8 billion total multiplatform views, outpacing CNN.com in the metric yet again and delivering over 100 million multiplatform unique visitors…..Connoisseur Media’s news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport, Connecticut adds FM translator W297CP at 107.3 FM as an additional frequency. Program director Allan Lamberti says, “With the addition of an FM frequency, we will really be able to get local news and information to more of the listeners of Bridgeport and beyond. This is a community that is underserved by local television news and really WICC is the only radio station that delivers it.”…..PodcastOne inks a “high seven-figure renewal deal” with podcast host and former Wall Street attorney Jordan Harbinger that keeps him and his eponymous program with the network for the foreseeable future. “The Jordan Harbinger Show” launched with the network in 2018 and PodcastOne says the show’s download numbers are nearing 11 million monthly and over 300 million all-time. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Jordan embodies what podcasting is all about. His impeccable interviewing skills, his unmatched rapport with guests, his integrity and his knowledge of marketing and the business of podcasting are keystones in the growth of ‘The Jordan Harbinger Show’ and his audience is ever expanding. Not only is Jordan a dream partner in podcasting, he’s also a dear friend and we are looking forward to, and anticipating, even bigger things in 2022 and beyond.”

Global Supply Chain/Inflation, January 6 Investigation/Bannon Contempt, COVID-19, Afghanistan Withdrawal Investigation, and Colin Powell Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). Concerns about the effects the global supply chain breakdown will have over the winter and of soaring retail prices; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s risking criminal contempt over his refusal to testify; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and mask & vaccine mandates; the State Department inspector general’s probe of the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan; and former Secretary of State Colin Powell dies at 84 after complications from COVID were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WBZ-AM and FEMA Unveil Emergency Studio. Pictured above at the WBZ-AM emergency broadcast facility in Hull, Massachusetts are WBZ’s Ben Parker (left) and FEMA’s IPAWS division director Antwane Johnson (right) at a ceremony for the refurbished facility on Friday (10/15). iHeartMedia‘s WBZ-AM facility serves as a Primary Entry Point (PEP) station for FEMA’s National Public Warning System (NPWS), maintained under FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), and provides critical information to the public before, during and after incidents and disasters. Under the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act enacted in 2015, Congress required FEMA to upgrade PEP stations across the country to ensure continuity of terrestrial broadcast services under all hazards. PEP stations are specially designated NPWS broadcast stations that serve as the primary intake source of initial broadcasts for a national alert. FEMA equips these stations, which are operated by local station personnel, with backup communications equipment and power generators that enable them to continue broadcasting information to the public during and after an emergency, including conveying official alerts to communities regionally and nationwide.