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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

| August 10, 2021

WNDB, Daytona Beach Host Marc Bernier Hospitalized with COVID-19. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier is in the hospital being treated for COVID-19. Like some other conservative talk radio hosts, Bernier has been a vocal critic of the vaccines, although station officials tell the paper they do not know Bernier’s vaccination status for certain. The report indicates that Bernier missed last week’s programs while home sick. He was diagnosed on Friday and was hospitalized on Saturday (8/7). WNDB operations manager Mark McKinney tells the paper, “I don’t have an update on him at this point, other than he has been hospitalized.” McKinney later added, “We will be airing announcements several times an hour (during Bernier’s program) that he is recovering from COVID-induced pneumonia and that we hope to have him back on the air soon.”

WSPD, Todelo’s Scott Sands Dealing with Breakthrough COVID-19 Case. Toledo talk host Scott Sands tells his story of contracting a breakthrough case of COVID-19 to WTOL-TV. Sands – who hosts the afternoon drive daypart on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WSPD-AM – says that he was vaccinated in April and is well enough to broadcast from home for the next two weeks. Sands tells WTOL-TV that he believes if he had not been vaccinated his symptoms would have been worse and he is encouraging his listeners to get vaccinated. “Even if it doesn’t protect you from getting COVID-19 at some point, I truly believe at some point it will mitigate the symptoms and help you recover much faster and if nothing else help slow the spread.”

Round One of July PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 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 July 2021 sweep covered June 24 – July 21. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. In New York, Audacy’s all-news WINS picks up one-tenth for a 2.7 share (weekly 6+ AQH share) good for the #12 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles sheds four-tenths to finish the survey with a 4.0 share and falls to the #6 rank. In Chicago, Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM takes back the #1 rank from urban AC WVAZ after adding seven-tenths for a 6.7 share finish. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta remains ranked #1 in the market after adding two-tenths and wrapping the survey with an 8.3 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets here.

1010 WINS Launches Spanish Audio Companion. The New York all-news outlet announces the launch of 1010 WINS Noticias.com, “a multiplatform, Spanish digital audio offering for 1010 WINS (WINS-AM), the most listened-to news station in the country.” Audacy says Audacy.com/1010WINSNoticias “will deliver the same energy, resources, and trusted content for news as 1010 WINS, providing original content, audio and video podcasts and a daily newscast for download – all in Spanish. Podcasts at launch include a rare sit-down conversation with Venezuela’s acting president Juan Guaido.”  WINS brand manager Ben Mevorach adds, “We could not be more excited about this new venture. No news brand is more respected or more New York than 1010 WINS. To be able to now share what we do with the Spanish-speaking news consumer represents an extraordinary opportunity for them, for us, and for advertisers.” Audacy says that 1010 WINS Noticias will also aim to create a unique value proposition for advertisers through multiple opportunities to reach consumers, included co-branded targeted social media posts, mobile app display ads and custom email newsletters, as well as homepage takeovers.

Gow Media’s ‘ESPN Houston’ Announces New Program Lineup. Houston sports talk outlet KFNC-FM/K223CW “ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM” unveils its new lineup. Gow Media says the new program schedule will take effect on August 16 and will “showcase a new direction, featuring new voices, and new shows with an emphasis on covering the teams and storylines that Houston sports fans care about. The all-local weekday lineup will continue to boast veteran hosts John Granato, Lance Zierlein, Charlie Pallilo and Joel Blank. New additions to the roster include Jeremy Branham, Jake Asman, Cody Stoots and Brad Kellner.” The lineup is as follows: 7:00 am to 10:00 am – “The Bench with John Granato & Lance Zierlein”; 10:00 am to 12:00 noon – “The Charlie Pallilo Show”; 12:noon to 3:00 pm – “The Killer B’s with Joel Blank & Jeremy Branham”; and 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm – “The Wheelhouse with Jake Asman, Cody Stoots & Brad Kellner.” Additionally, longtime station host Fred Faour will continue to be part of the on-air team, joining shows throughout the week in a new role as the station’s sports betting analyst. CEO David Gow says, “Fred has a deep connection with our listeners, and will continue to be an important part of our on-air team. He will also lead the development of a new online offering that we’ll be launching soon.”

Libby Nolan Named SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia St. Louis. Radio sales pro Libby Nolan is named SVP of sales for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis market. The company’s St. Louis outlets include BIN: Black Information Network’s BIN103.7 plus four music brands. Nolan joins iHeartMedia St. Louis from Zimmer Radio in Springfield, Missouri, where she served as vice president and director of sales. Prior to that, Nolan acted as market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal radio cluster. She spent almost 10 years of her career at Emmis St. Louis serving in several leadership positions. She also held leadership positions at Audacy-owned news/talk KFTK-FM. iHeartMedia St. Louis president John R. Beck, Jr. says, “I am very excited to have Libby on our team. Her diverse background and leadership skills are a perfect match for the amazing things we have to look forward to at iHeart St. Louis.”

Brenda Franco Named GM for JVC Media’s Fort Walton Beach Cluster. Radio sales and management pro Brenda Franco is named general manager for JVC Media of Florida’s Fort Walton Beach station group that includes WZLB-FM “Florida Man Radio 103.1” and three music brands. Franco was most recently key account manager and senior marketing consultant for Cumulus Media in the Fort Walton Beach/Destin market. JVC executive Shane Reeve comments, “JVC’s commitment to the Emerald Coast and all of our markets is to grow our culture of great LOCAL radio for our listeners and clients. The addition of Brenda as our general manager for JVC Fort Walton Beach is a win for everyone in the market. Brenda’s success in sales management up and down the Emerald Coast is due to her incredible knowledge and passion for her clients, listeners, and the industry. I was always so impressed with Brenda during my earlier tenure in Fort Walton Beach and I am thrilled to have someone of her caliber on board with the JVC family.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by The Count, KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel is to undergo heart surgery. The Count says Handel called into the station last Thursday while hospitalized, saying he is to undergo heart valve replacement surgery, telling his fill-in, “Now they have to crack my chest. The valve is definitely infected.” Handel underwent surgery to replace the same aortic valve in 2011…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and the NCAA agree to a multi-year renewal, maintaining Westwood One’s place as the official network audio broadcast partner of the NCAA for many years to come. Westwood One has broadcast the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament since 1982 and every game of NCAA March Madness on multiple platforms since 2005. Under the terms of the deal, Westwood One retains exclusive broadcast radio, digital audio, distribution, and licensing rights for all 90 NCAA Championships, including the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments and the Final Fours…..WGN, Chicago reports that the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks released a medical update on Blackhawks radio color analyst Troy Murray, who says, “I want to let everyone know of the challenge that I’m currently facing. I have been diagnosed with cancer. With the love and support of my family, friends, the Wirtz family, the Chicago Blackhawks organization and WGN Radio I’m confident that together, we will beat this.” WGN vice president and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle says, “Troy is beloved by all our listeners and is a significant member of the WGN Radio family. It goes without saying that Troy and his family have our love and support as he begins his treatments. We are cheering for him and wish him well. Along with the Blackhawks, we ask that you respect his privacy during this time.”…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, announces that former NFLquarterback Shaun King is joining the network as co-host of “The Night Cap” in which he’ll co-host with Tim Murray to cover sports betting markets around the country each weeknight from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET. VSiN CEO Brian Musberger comments, “Shaun is an incredible talent, and we’re thrilled to add his unique perspective as a player to our sports betting content as we continue to expand VSiN’s programming and reach. His experience as an NFL quarterback coupled with the skills he honed as a former ESPN and NBC Sports analyst will be an incredibly valuable addition to our evening lineup.”…..Pictured below is Westwood One late night talk radio star Jim Bohannon (right) being inducted into the Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame at the organization’s annual gathering in Branson, Missouri.

COVID-19 Delta Variant & Masks Debate, Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations, Infrastructure Bill, Climate Change/Wildfires, Prince Andrew Sexual Abuse Suit, Capitol Riot Investigation, and Obama Party Backlash Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/9). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the controversy over mask mandates for school children; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo digs in as sexual harassment allegations put pressure on him to resign; the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill; the UN’s IPCC-authored climate report and the wildfires devastating California and Greece; American Virginia Giuffre sues Prince Andrew for sexual abuse; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot; and criticism of former President Barack Obama’s birthday bash for flouting COVID-19 guidelines were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, July 8, 2019

| July 8, 2019

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with “Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting” Panel Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/8) post presents the panel discussion titled, “Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  Already posted: The convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted on the page:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

‘Delaware 105.9’ Ends Local Susan Monday Show; Adds Syndicated Programming. The new owner of news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” is dropping local talk personality Susan Monday.  At the same time, early afternoon host Ed Tyll resigns from the station that Forever Media acquired along with nine other signals from Delmarva Broadcasting for $18.5 million earlier this year.  WXDE is adding Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher show in the late morning daypart and the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, van Camp and Robbins” show in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Monday is ready for her next opportunity.  She can be reached at suemo1955@gmail.com.

SB Nation Radio Launches New Afternoon Show. Current SB Nation Radio personalities Cody Stoots and Jake Asman are being paired up to co-host “The Main Event with Cody Stoots and Jake Asman” show in the SB Nation Radio lineup.  The network is operated by Houston-based Gow Media.  Stoots has been with Gow’ Sportsmap and Asman has been hosting the network’s 7:00 pm ET “The Power Hour” program.  The new show airs from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.  Gow Media and SB Nation Radio CEO David Gow comments, “It’s been a joy listening to Jake and Cody in various roles the last couple of years.  They both are so versatile.  The perfect combination of humor and constructive sports debate.  It’s going to be a very entertaining program.”

Levin Broadcasts from Israel. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio star Mark Levin (left) interviewing British intelligence and military officer Colonel Richard Kemp (right) in the Christian Broadcasting Network studios in Jerusalem. The two discussed Iran, the war in Afghanistan, and Kemp’s collaboration with the CIA and Israeli intelligence and defense agencies.  Kemp was one of a number of expert guests Levin interviewed during his international remote broadcast.

Confer Radio Institute Opens Today. Today at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, 25 students are beginning the 10-day Confer Radio Talent Institute in which they will learn from a group of more than 40 broadcast professionals, including: Kristin Cantrell, CEO of CapCity Communications and Seven Mountains Media and Jim Loftus, COO of Seven Mountains Media; Lynn Deppen, president of Forever MediaJoe Bell, VP/market manager of Beasley Media Group Philadelphia; Karen Richards, VP/sales, Cumulus Media Harrisburg; Jon Zellner, president of programming operations, National Programming Group, iHeartMedia New York; Shelly Easton, VP of music programming, Entercom Philadelphia; Brian Check, SVP of programming, iHeartMedia Philadelphia; Eric Johnson, program director of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” and many more.  The institute is being underwritten by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and Kerby Confer to underwrite the institute.  Lifelong broadcaster Kirby Confer (pictured at right teaching at a previous institute) says, “We want to make a difference and give this next generation a firm foundation in the industry.  We are going to birth a whole new generation of radio people and are so pleased the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters offer both their time and financial support, investing in radio’s future.”  All students will be certified Radio Marketing Professionals after completing the RMP sales training course from the RAB.

Beasley Unveils New XP Studio in Detroit. The new Beasley Media Group broadcast space pictured above will serve as the official headquarters for Beasley’s nationally syndicated Esports lifestyle-driven program, “Checkpoint XP.”  The program is seen daily on Twitch and heard weekly on 74 affiliate stations via the Sun Broadcast Group network, and via a lineup of original content Esports-focused podcasts.  Seen sitting in the state-of-the-art studios are (from l-r): “Checkpoint XP” personalities Norris Howard and Joe Sloan, Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley, Checkpoint XP’s Robbie Landis and Nate Bender.

Media Staffing Network and Radio Ink Partner for 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study. The 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study results will be presented at this year’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  It’s a partnership between Media Staffing Network (MSN) and our friends at Radio Ink.  The study begins with a two-minute survey for managers and sellers that launches today (7/8) and runs through Friday, July 26.  The goal of the study is to guide radio owners, operators, and managers to develop sales compensation packages that attract – and keep – the best candidates, including those from younger demographics, in today’s highly competitive hiring landscape.  All survey participants will be entered in a random drawing to win one of three licenses to MSN’s Local Sales Recruitment Online Learning Program.  Radio Ink EVP and president/publisher Deborah Parenti says, “We are delighted to team up with MSN in a project that will hopefully help provide guidance, especially to smaller groups and individual stations, in crafting the kind of compensation packages that encourage young people to consider radio sales as a career path. With so much competition from digital media, making radio ‘sexier’ to prospective hires has to, first and foremost, include a more competitive pay structure.”  To access the survey, click here.

WTEM, Washington Adds FOX Sports Radio Programming. Washington, DC sports talker WTEM “The Team 980” adds evening and overnight programming from FOX Sports Radio to its daily program schedule. Effective immediately, the Radio One-owned station begins airing “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker” in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am, and “The Ben Maller Show” in the 2:00 am to 6:00 am daypart.  The station also airs FOX Sports Radio’s full lineup of weekend programming when play-by-play sports is not on the schedule.

NAB to Honor Mary Quass with National Radio Award. At this year’s NAB Radio Show in Dallas, NRG Media chairman and CEO Mary Quass will receive the National Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.  The award – given for “outstanding leadership in the radio industry” – will be presented during the September 25 luncheon program, “2020 and Beyond: Insights from the Top.”  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “We are pleased to honor Mary Quass for her many achievements and impact on radio.  She is a true catalyst in our industry who exemplifies the meaning of the National Radio Award through her leadership, integrity and success.”

Trump’s Fourth of July Celebration, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, California Earthquakes, U.K. Ambassador’s Trump Criticisms, Jeffrey Epstein Arrest, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Washington, DC Fourth of July celebration, including President Trump’s speech and the military component; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Iran’s uranium enrichment program and tensions with the U.S.; the earthquakes in Southern California since the July 4 temblor; British Ambassador Kim Darroch’s criticism of President Trump; the arrest of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on sexual assault charges; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s World Cup victory were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Jasmine Lee is named co-host of the “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch” morning show on Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB, Fort Myers “B103.9.”   She was most recently morning host at Stillwater Broadcasting’s CHR KSPI-FM, Stillwater, Oklahoma.  WXKB operations manager Adam Star comments, “Jasmine has great charm and charisma on the air. Her energy and fun personality is infectious.  She is the final piece that we were looking to add to ‘Big Mama and The Wild Bunch Morning Show.’”…..In the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market, Don Harrison is the new brand manager at Adams Radio’s rock WZBH “The Beach” and classic rock WGBG “Big 107.7.”  He was most recently operations manager at Townsquare Media’s operations in the Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming markets.  Harrison says, “I’m honored to join Adams Radio Group and be working with the entire team.  It’s refreshing to be part of a company that believes in local radio, super-serving the community, and creating a great working environment.  I also can’t wait to team up with Lisa Layne – she’s a rock star.”…..iHeartMedia Boston brings Hisham Fayed aboard as director of marketing to work with the cluster’s music brands: WXKS-FM “Kiss 108,” WJMN-FM “JAM’N 94.5,” WBWL-FM “101.7 The Bull,” WZLX-FM, and WKAF-FM.  In this role, Fayed will work closely with the promotions, events, sales, and programming teams in developing and executing marketing plans.  iHeartMedia VP of marketing Adam Ralston says, “Hisham has a proven track record of impactful marketing campaign creation and execution in Boston. We are thrilled to add him to our superstar marketing team, and we know he will contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”