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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

| November 23, 2021

Dave Ramsey is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-media talk radio giant Dave Ramsey is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Based near Nashville, he’s been on the air for almost three decades dispensing advice about personal finance, faith, and grass-roots politics to an ever-growing audience that goes deep into the human psyche in dealing with debt, ambition, ethics, balance and leadership. Ramsey is ranked #2 on the 2021 TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America and he certainly practices what he preaches. Starting out with a small, money-oriented local radio show in Tennessee, he built his firm on the principles he espouses into a multi-million-dollar media operation known today as Ramsey Solutions employing over 1,000 people. The firm engages in filmmaking, book publishing, podcasting, live presentations and the radio syndication of a growing number of unique personalities. Ramsey Solutions has just released a ground-breaking full-length documentary film titled, Borrowed Future: How Student Loans are Killing the American Dream. Michael Harrison says, “It is one of the most important commentaries about our economy and culture to come out in years. Student loan debt is a major crisis smothering a generation. It is a disgrace.” Ramsey has also written and published a new book titled, Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth – and How You Can Too (Ramsey Press, 2021). Harrison and Ramsey discuss the student debt crisis, his plans for Ramsey Solutions going forward, and the current wave of inflation gripping the nation. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Quick: Program a Talk Station Like a Music Station – Sort of. Consultant Jon Quick says that just as a music programmer has a music playlist, so should a talk programmer have a topics playlist. “The topics playlist will appeal to your target audience. The list will continue to change and evolve every day. Too often we play topics that the host alone is interested in. Consider audience first. Does it matter to them? If so, go for it. Then, as in the case of a music programmer, judge the topic. Decide how often you ‘rotate’ it. There are those rare occasions where one topic might take up the whole show or the entire day if, for example, a major industry decides to leave the area, leaving hundreds jobless.” Read his column here.

Tom Tanguay to Retire from KIRO-FM, Seattle. Afternoon drive co-host Tom Tanguay announces he’s retiring from Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle, after the December 1 program. Tanguay made the announcement yesterday (11/22) and posted the following to its website. “Tom’s last show will be on Wednesday, December 1, having spent 27 years doing everything from news desk reporting to reviewing movies, all culminating in his co-hosting talk radio gig alongside John Curley on the ‘Tom & Curley Show.’ ‘This is the greatest job,’ he said on Monday’s edition of the show. ‘I just realized, at the age of 67 I’ve got other things I still want to do — there are just fascinating things in the world. I’ve worked in radio for 30 years and been on talk shows for the last decade, and now I want to try other things. I want to travel, I want to read, I want to study and all these kinds of things.” KIRO-FM management says it will announce its plans for the afternoon drive daypart soon.

iHeartMedia, Audacy, Emmis, and SiriusXM Sued by Group of Investors Over Petroleum Investment Losses. A group of more than 30 individuals and Trustees are suing iHeartMediaAudacyEmmis, and SiriusXM claiming that the companies aired the “Smart Oil and Gas” radio show hosted by Mark Allan Plummer despite his being sanctioned numerous times by FINRA, the Texas Securities Commissioner, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The plaintiffs lost all of their investments and are suing to be made whole by the media companies. The complaint alleges that the media companies broadcast Plummer’s program even though “the Texas State Securities Board and the SEC” labeled Plummer “a securities fraud ‘recidivist’ who has been investigated and/or sanctioned by FINRA, the SEC, and state securities boards for operating fraudulent oil and gas investment schemes since at least 2012.” It adds that “the Radio Stations’ choice to willingly or recklessly ignore publicly available history and private communications from concerned investors in order to permit a recidivist like Plummer to host his radio show is startling.” The complaint lists 10 such sanctions over a nine-year period. The complaint goes on to say, “Plummer’s success in soliciting monies from investors for his fraudulent scheme is directly attributable to Defendants’ recklessness, as described below, and the material aid Defendants provided to Plummer and his entities. Defendants served as the primary means for Plummer and his entities to solicit investors and create a public persona of a trusted adviser. Accordingly, the Radio Stations’ choices come with the unsurprising consequences of providing a gateway for so many individuals to lose their money. And the Radio Stations should be liable for the millions of dollars of harm caused by their misconduct.” The Plaintiffs are seeking actual and consequential damages, treble damages, exemplary damages, attorneys fees and more.

Good Karma Brands Produces 10th Annual Wisconsin Sports Awards. Media company Good Karma Brands – owner of news/talk WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; talk WGKB-AM “101.7 The Truth”; sports talk WAUK-AM “ESPN Milwaukee”; and WTLX-FM “ESPN Madison” is presenting the “10th Annual Wisconsin Sports Awards: History Made,” a televised event hosted by “ESPN Milwaukee” morning show host and national ESPN reporter, Jen Lada. The program recognizes high school, collegiate, and professional athletes across the state of Wisconsin and includes “captivating storytelling, interviews, and more from local talent, including Bob Uecker, voice of the Milwaukee Brewers; Dave Koehn and Ben Brust, play-by-play and color analyst for the Milwaukee Bucks; and more during the month of December.” The program will air four times across the state beginning on December 11 on WISC-TV, Madison. It will also air on WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee on December 18, on WKBT-TV, La Crosse on December 19; and on WBAY-TV, Green Bay on December 16. Good Karma says the show will feature interviews with the 2021 NBA champs the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers’ 2020 National League Rookie of the Year Devin Williams. It will also highlight athletes who have greatly impacted the community in unique ways with the Community Involved Athlete of the Year presented by JOCKEY and the Broken Bat Brewery Inspirational Athlete of the Year. The televised event will recognize the Cousins Subs Wisconsin Sports Awards scholarship winners.

Celebrating Thanksgiving with the Troops. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston Fort Bragg, North Carolina covering an early Thanksgiving celebration with the troops stationed there. Clugston traveled aboard Air Force One with President Joe Biden and the First Lady as they donned blue aprons with the presidential seal and served mashed potatoes and stuffing in the buffet line. Fort Bragg is home to the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps and the Army’s Special Operations Command.

January 6 Investigation/Subpoenas, Inflation/Gas Prices, Flash Mob Thefts, Biden Nominates Powell, COVID-19, Carlson-Rittenhouse Interview, Ahmaud Arbery Case, and Waukesha Parade Tragedy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/22). The investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and new subpoenas issued for testimony from former Donald Trump advisor Roger Stone and media personality Alex Jones; the high retail prices facing Americans, record high gas prices and President Joe Biden’s promise to release oil from the nation’s strategic reserves; the rash of flash mob smash-and-grab thefts in the Bay Area; Biden nominates Fed Chair Jerome Powell for another term; the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe and pushback against mask and vaccine mandates; FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson interviews Kyle Rittenhouse; the jury gets the case in the trial of three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery; and the aftermath of the deadly vehicular assault on a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

| August 19, 2020

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Compared to the July 2019 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, 65% of news/talk stations had better weekly, 6+ AQH shares in the July 2020 PPM survey, according to our report from TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian. Looking at ratings increases from the June 2020 PPM survey to the July 2020 survey, 43% of news/talk stations were down, with 35% improving. Gainers from June to July were led by iHeartMedia’s KSTE-AM, Sacramento (+1.2 for a 3.0 share). Back to the year-over-year comparison, Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta was the top gainer, adding 4.0 shares to post a 10.6 share, good for the #1 rank in Atlanta. Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM, Washington also climbed to the #1 spot (from #6 in 2019) on the strength of an 8.4 share (+3.1). Joining WSB and WMAL in the #1 club in July was Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle after finishing the July survey with a 7.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Air Personality Changes at Sports Talk WKTI-FM, Milwaukee. According to a piece in the Milwaukee Business Journal, the new program schedule at Good Karma Brands’ sports talk WKTI-FM, Milwaukee “ESPN 94.5” includes ESPN television personality Jen Lada joining the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show alongside co-hosts Gabe Neitzel and former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura. Lada is prominent on ESPN’s “College Game Day” and “College Football Live” broadcasts. Other changes at the station include the move of Steve “The Homer” True’s show from the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart to the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot. He’s also being joined by new co-host Tony Smith. In the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot is Greg Scalzo and Ben Brust simulcast from Good Karma’s WTLX-FM, Madison. Good Karma general manager Steve Wexler says of the Scalzo and Brust show, “It’s a very high-energy — and we think super-entertaining — afternoon show. They had really great success on our Madison ESPN station.”

Dave Andreesen Upped to Director of Programming and Ops for Binnie Media’s News/Talk and Sports Stations. Programmer Dave Andreesen is promoted to director of programming & operations for news-talk-sports brands at Binnie Media. Andreesen has been based at the company’s Dover, New Hampshire stations. Company vice president of programming Heath Cole states, “Dave has been an amazing captain of our Dover, NH properties and I’m extremely proud of what he and Mike Pomp have accomplished over the years. Dave will continue in his role with [news/talk] WTSN, Dover as well as [news/talk/sports] ‘107.7 The Pulse’ WTPL-FM, Concord.” Andreesen adds, “It’s an honor to continue in a new role at WTSN, one of the oldest radio stations in the state with a long history of local programming and the personalities who have set the standard for broadcasting. And WTPL is a powerhouse of locally originating programming led by a group of exceptional broadcasters with decades of experience who give the community a voice. Binnie Media is proud to be the home of the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots in these two markets.”

Jules Riley Named Operations Director for CMG Jacksonville. Programming pro Jules Riley joins Cox Media Group Jacksonville as operations director for the eight-brand cluster that includes news/talk WOKV-FM, sports talk WOKV-AM “ESPN 690” and six music brands. Riley was most recently SVP of programming at iHeartMedia’s St. Louis cluster. CMG Jacksonville vice president and general manager Katie Reid comments, “Jules brings a wealth of experience and talent to CMG Jacksonville. We are extremely excited she will be leading and growing our team, our brands and the future of our programming.”

TALKERS News Notes. Variety is reporting that former PBS personality Tavis Smiley is being ordered by a Washington, DC court to pay the Public Broadcasting Service $2.6 million after being found guilty of breach of contract. The jury found Smiley guilty of having numerous affairs with subordinates in violation of the morals clause of his contract. The jury awarded PBS $1.5 million for the costs and underwriting revenue for the last two seasons of his talk show. A judge tacked on $1.1 million in damages…..The Props Network and JAKIB Media Partners announce a deal for an exclusive partnership between golf podcasters “The Tour Junkies” and “The Tony Bruno Show w/ Harry Mayes” for the former to provide the radio show with weekly golf content. Bruno says, “We have golf action-yo. Weekly, we will bring you the most comprehensive golf coverage as part of ‘The Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes.’ Our show is unpredictable and this content will deliver listeners the in-depth knowledge and insight that is a cornerstone of our program.”…..The Seneca Women Podcast Network, iHeartRadio and P&G announce the premiere of “Seneca’s 100 Women to Hear,” an original 100-episode podcast spotlighting women who have positively impacted and created change across all sectors of society. The series launched Tuesday (8/18) with an episode spotlighting abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. New episodes will drop over nine consecutive days, through August 26 on Women’s Equality Day, and then move to twice weekly starting in September…..PodcastOne, a subsidiary of LiveXLive Media, Inc., announces a new video podcast deal with actress, model, and influencer Amanda Cerny and award-winning Bollywood actress and social media star Jacqueline Fernandez. Launching later this summer on both PodcastOne and LiveXLive’s platforms, “FEELS GOOD” w/ Amanda Cerny and Jacqueline Fernandez “brings these two lost sisters from different sides of the world together to give global weekly inspiring news story updates alongside insightful reviews, unexpected guests, conversations about sex, dating, wellness, and culture, while delivering to audiences what ‘feels good.’”

Radio Execs Make Big Stock Investments in Their Companies. Recently, two executives at major audio media firms have added large amounts of their companies’ stock to their personal portfolios.  Entercom chairman David Field just added more than 121,000 shares of Entercom stock, paying $1.6 per share and totaling $195,000. This adds 4.9% to Field’s share of Entercom’s stock, according to Yahoo! Finance. On August 14, iHeartMedia filed a Form 4 with the Securities Exchange Commission to report that company CFO and COO Richard Bressler purchased, via the company’s Employee Stock Option plan, $4.14 million worth of its Class A Common Stock (416,500 shares at $8.98 per share).

Presidential Race/DNC, USPS Crisis/Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections/Campus Flare-Ups, Fall School Openings, Senate Russian Interference Report, Financial Markets Gains, Anderson Cooper-Mike Lindell Spat, and California Wildfires-Blackouts Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/18). The November presidential election and night two of the Democratic National Convention; the U.S. Postal Service funding crisis and the related criticism of mail-in voting by President Trump; the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and projections for future cases and the related reports of flare-ups at some college campuses; the debate over school openings in September; the latest Senate report concluding that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election; U.S. financial markets hit highs erasing the spring pandemic losses; the tense exchange between CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell over Lindell’s promotion of oleandrin as a cure for COVID-19; and the Southwestern heatwave and California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The syndicated rock morning drive program “The Billy Madison Show” is now being represented for ad sales and affiliate sales by Key Networks. The program – based at Cox Media Group’s rock KISS-FM, San Antonio – was originally a cooperative effort between CMG and Nineball Radio. United Stations Radio Networks acquired Nineball in 2016 and had been syndicating it since. It’s heard in the Palm Springs, Corpus Christi, and Salisbury, Maryland markets. Key Networks president and COO Jim Higgins says, “Billy Madison and his team work really hard and deliver a unique brand of passion and humor that has generated huge ratings and revenue for KISS-FM in San Antonio and Billy’s other affiliates. Key Networks is proud to now market his program and get it the recognition and additional stations and listeners that it deserves.”…..Maine’s Binnie Media promotes programming pro Leif Erickson to director of programming and operations for the classic hits FRANK format airing on the company’s WFNK-FM, Lewiston/Portland and WBQX, Rockland. Erickson says, “My predecessor, Stan Bennett, built a powerful brand and taught me a lot. After 15 years of being his right-hand man, it’s an honor to step up and take the reins. Frank FM has been my passion, and I’m excited to keep our winning streak going, aided of course by the best team in the Portland market.”