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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

| April 12, 2022

iHeartMedia Adds New Talk Radio Outlet to the Seattle Market. Seattle market AM KPTR is now news/talk as “1090 The Patriot, Seattle’s Conservative News Talk.” iHeartMedia announces the new station and reveals it is airing Premiere Networks syndicated programming including: “Glenn Beck,” “Clay Travis & Buck Sexton,” “Sean Hannity,” and “Jesse Kelly” from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore comments, “We are proud to be launching a new station in Seattle, seeing an opportunity to bring a powerful conservative talk lineup to the airwaves. This station brings highly engaging content and information with leading talent in the conservative talk space that our listeners will gravitate towards.”

 

Joe Pags Show Gets into Seattle Market on KPTR-AM. WOAI-AM, San Antonio-based talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is part of the new Seattle news/talker KPTR-AM “1090 The Patriot.” Pags’ Compass Media Networks-syndicated “The Joe Pags Show” is airing on the new station from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Joe Pags says, “I am thrilled to bring my show to the great city of Seattle. Being part of this lineup of talk stars is a true privilege. I can’t wait to give the people of the Emerald City a place to come to voice their concerns, have some fun, and take part in important dialogue.” “The Joe Pags Show” is heard in more than 160 markets including Houston, Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.

 

iHeartMedia and the NFL’s Washington Commanders Ink Audio Partnership. The NFL’s Washington Commanders and iHeartMedia Washington DC announce a new, three-year partnership deal to be the team’s exclusive radio broadcast partner. Starting this season, the team’s games will air on classic rock WBIG-FM “BIG 100.3 FM” and be featured on the station’s website and on the iHeartRadio app. In addition to the team’s radio gameday broadcast, iHeartMedia says this partnership will offer a “robust lineup of exclusive programming across iHeartMedia D.C.’s radio stations and on the iHeartRadio App. New this season, fans will also be able to access archived radio broadcasts of the team’s games anytime via the Commanders channel on the iHeartRadio App.” iHeartMedia has no broadcast sports talk station in the market, but has four other music brands plus news/talk WWDC-HD2/W284CQ “104.7 WONK-FM” and news WUST-AM “DMV’s Black Information Network.”

 

NAB’s Michelle Duke Honored with MIW’s Trailblazer Award. The recipient of this year’s MIW Frances Preston Trailblazer Award from Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. is Michelle Duke, president, NAB Leadership Foundation and chief diversity officer. The MIW Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, champions and creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers. In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of BMI. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “What a joy to recognize and celebrate Michelle’s many accomplishments with this Trailblazer Award. I’ve worked with Michelle via Broadcast Leadership Training and know firsthand that her efforts are tireless and her work throughout our industry is meaningful. This award was a long time coming.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. A new study titled, “Exploring The Brand Benefits of Trust and Companionship in Audio,” commissioned by iHeartMedia and PMX (the investment arm of Publicis Media), finds that “consumers perceive radio and podcast personalities as highly relatable, trustworthy and authentic. These findings present rich opportunity for advertisers to build brand affinity and favorability, and drive purchase in audio environments.” The study was conducted by Magid and reveals that “55% of participants said they listen to commercials more often on radio and in podcasts than through any other medium. In addition, 53% found radio and podcast advertisements to be more relevant than on any other medium and 51% said they are more trusting of radio and podcast advertisers than on any other medium. When comparing radio versus streaming music services in nine consumer categories including restaurants, retail, automobiles and more, consumers who purchased a product were more likely to buy from an audio advertisement in every single category.”…..The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Ted Davis, former voice of the Milwaukee Bucks who retired after the 2021-22 season, posted to Facebook that he’s leaving his current gig at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WRNW-FM, Milwaukee “97.3 The Game.” He’ll continue to work with the station in a fill-in capacity. He co-hosted the “Heller & Davis” show with Mike Heller, who will continue to host the program solo…..iHeartMedia Denver announces that veteran sports broadcaster Jerry Schemmel returns to the KOA Colorado Rockies Radio Network, effective immediately. Schemmel shares play-by-play and color analyst duties with Jack Corrigan for all 162 Colorado Rockies games and returns to KOA for his 11th season following a two-year hiatus. He says, “I am elated to be coming back to the KOA Colorado Rockies Radio Network booth. I couldn’t be happier to be working with Jack Corrigan and producer Jesse Thomas. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get back at it.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, January 6 Committee/Prosecutions, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Macron-Le Pen Race, and Severe Southern U.S. Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the allegations of war crimes, and the implications for U.S. relations abroad; the state of the U.S. economy, soaring inflation, and President Joe Biden’s ethanol authorization; the January 6 committee’s ongoing investigation and the prosecution of those who entered the Capitol; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; America’s retreating from COVID-19 protocols, concerns about the BA.2 variant’s spread, and China’s zero-covid lockdown policy; the race for president of France between liberal Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen; and the severe spring weather hitting the U.S. South were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

| March 31, 2022

Criminal Trial Attorney and Radio Talk Show Host Arthur Aidala is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Get ready for a deep dive into an analysis of the criminal justice system, Supreme Court politics, and the causes of spiking urban crime stats. Nationally famous New York defense lawyer and high-profile on-air TV and radio legal analyst, Arthur Aidala is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For more than 25 years, Aidala has handled high-profile cases at the investigative, trial, and appellate levels, including a famous win for NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and obtaining a full acquittal of William Rapetti in the highly publicized New York City crane collapse case. Now he’s been recruited to join the airstaff at New York City’s “AM 970 The Answer” (WNYM) to host a daily one-hour power-packed radio show (“The Arthur Aidala Power Hour”) currently in its third month on the air. Michael Harrison describes Aidala’s air work as “nothing short of fantastic.” Don’t miss this fast-paced, content-rich example of why “The Michael Harrison Interview” has been a favorite of media enthusiasts and talk radio junkies around the world for almost seven years. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for February 2022. The most recent streaming ranker report from Triton Digital is released for U.S. listening in February. Triton’s rankers are based on Average Active Sesions (AAS) – the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period (AAS=TLH/Hours in period). For the period Mon-Sun 6am-12am, iHeartMedia is the #1 publisher with 291,890 AAS. NPR Member Stations is #2 with 81,180 AAS, followed by Audacy at #3 with 65,774 AAS and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 with 41,342 AAS. Other radio-related companies of note ranking in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,423 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (14,884 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (9,498 AAS), Urban One at #12 (8,084 AAS) and Bonneville International at #13 (6,783 AAS). See the whole report here.

 

Cumulus Boise Names Nancy Wirth Director of Sales. Radio and television sales pro Nancy Wirth is named director of sales for Cumulus Media’s Boise station group that includes news/talk KBOI-AM/FM, sports talk KTIK-AM/K237HA “The Ticket,” and three music brands.  Wirth most recently served as faith-based radio and TV group the Dove. She says, “Cumulus has always been the best of the best. I am ecstatic to be part of the Cumulus Boise team, and I look forward to working with everyone and growing in this dynamic company.”

 

Montemayor Joins Beasley Detroit as General Sales Manager. Another move in the sales department at Beasley Media Group Detroit as Lynn Montemayor joins the company as general sales manager for the cluster that includes sports talk WCSX-HD2/W228CJ “Motor City Sports Talk – The ROAR” and four music brands. Montemayor spent the past four years as a partner & chief marketing officer Detroit-based marketing firm Fortysix/5. Beasley Detroit VP of sales Tina Murley comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Lynn Montemayor to the Beasley Detroit team. Lynn is a highly respected, industry professional that has a keen understanding of client needs and how to build winning marketing plans. She is the perfect addition to our amazing team in Detroit.”

 

iHeartMedia Partners with Super League Gaming for Metaverse Projects. Forging ahead with its endeavors in the metaverse, iHeartMedia announces a partnership with Super League Gaming – a network of metaverse games, monetization tools, and content channels – that “will leverage iHeartMedia’s massive North American sales force of 1,500 sellers in every major market nationwide, as well as its vast roster of partners, to bring Super League’s highly-sought-after ad inventory and influencer network to brands looking to gain entry to the metaverse.” The two companies will also collaborate on the development and rollout of iHeartMedia’s “iHeartLand” virtual spaces and fan experiences across metaverse platforms as well as the distribution of Super League’s immersive new 3D and NPC (non-player character) ad units. The press release further states that “Super League will share its deep knowledge and insights on open metaverse gaming platforms such as Roblox and Minecraft. This includes the company’s robust suite of exclusive analytics to help guide the go-to-market plans and future-forward sales strategies for iHeartMedia’s portfolio of premium brand advertisers.” iHeartMedia EVP, digital distribution and platform partnerships Jessica Jerrick says, “As we develop and introduce our unique iHeart experiences in the metaverse this year, we’re thrilled to partner with Super League to create new and compelling ways to connect our brand partners to passionate fans in our virtual spaces and beyond. Super League’s expertise, coupled with their best-in-class ad tech and expansive inventory across Roblox games, puts them at the forefront of this exciting space and makes them an ideal partner for iHeartMedia’s new extensions in the metaverse.”

 

Alex Jones Being Held in Contempt of Court. According to numerous reports, including one from CNN, talk media personality Alex Jones is being held in contempt of court for failing to sit for depositions in the suit against him by families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook School shooting. Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that Jones intentionally failed to comply with the court’s orders but so far has not issued a warrant for his arrest. Jones’ attorneys say he is being advised to remain at home due to medical issues, but his attorneys also confirmed in a court filing that Jones has been hosting his daily “Info Wars” show from a studio away from his home. CNN’s report says, “Until he sits for a deposition, Bellis ordered, Jones will have to pay fines that will start at $25,000 a day on April 1 and increasing by $25,000 each business day.” Christopher Mattei is the attorney representing a number of Sandy Hook families and he argues that Jones should be jailed until he is deposed to show that refusing the court’s orders “are not worth it.”

 

 

Jesse Kelly Participates in KTLK, St. Louis’ ‘Patriot Speaker Series.’ Last weekend, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host Jesse Kelly participated in the inaugural “Patriot Speaker Series” produced by iHeartMedia’s news/talk KTLK-FM, St. Louis “104.9 The Patriot” and hosted by KTLK morning personality Jamie Allman. The event took place before a sold-out crowd of more than 300 guests and featured a conversation between Allman and Kelly, who chatted about their careers in radio and the latest news headlines, before taking questions from attendees. Pictured (from l-r) are: iHeartMedia St. Louis market president John Beck, Allman, Kelly, iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming Gail Austin, and iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of sales Libby Nolan.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is nationally syndicated talk radio host and best-selling author Todd Starnes in front of The Ronald Reagan Ranch Center where he was invited to deliver the keynote address at an event hosted by Young America’s Foundation. He also delivered a speech to hundreds of college students at West Coast Baptist College near Los Angeles…..The new book from SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison hits the #1 position on the Amazon Political Literature Criticism book chart. Radio Active: a Memoir of Advocacy in Action, on the Air and in the Streets (Xlibris US, 2021) is described as “the story of Madison’s decades of activism, from his childhood in a segregated neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio, to interviewing Barack Obama in the Oval Office. It’s a delightful tale, a call to action and an eye-opening commentary on the racial divide that persists in America today.”…..Audacy expands its broadcast partnership with the New York Mets by making the Audacy app the exclusive free digital streaming home for all Mets games as part of WCBS-AM’s flagship partnership with the team. English and Spanish language broadcasts of Mets baseball will be available on the Audacy app for consumers within the Mets broadcast territory and Mets.com beginning Opening Day on April 7. Audacy New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero states, “Following one of the most successful off seasons in franchise history, we’re thrilled to gear up for the 2022 season by making our outstanding coverage of the Mets even more accessible to millions of local fans. In the car, on their phone or however they may be listening – in English or in Spanish – the Amazin’ faithful will now have the ability to seamlessly catch every pitch during what is sure to be an exciting season.”…..iHeartMedia announces a slate of original podcasts as part of its My Cultura Podcast Network launching in partnership with award-winning actress, producer, director and activist Eva Longoria. The company says the upcoming shows further My Cultura’s dedication to celebrating and elevating Latinx voices, stories, and content creators like Longoria. The projects span across genres – two of the series will be hosted by Longoria herself, including an interview series and a food and culture show. Longoria, along with actress Dania Ramirez, will also executively produce a scripted podcast series based on a true story. SVP, head of production and development for My Cultura, Gisselle Bances says, “We’re incredibly excited about this partnership, and the growth of our network, as we continue to tell our stories and celebrate our Latinidad. We’re thrilled to partner with Eva as we continue to increase the representation and visibility of our community and cultura in the podcast industry and beyond.”…..TuneIn announces a newly inked, multi-year partnership agreement with Major League Baseball ahead of Opening Day that will – for TuneIn Premium subscribers – include live and on-demand game coverage of all 30 MLB teams, on-demand post-game analysis, Spanish-language broadcasting coverage, and spring training play-by-play coverage.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Trump’s Putin Request, Gas Prices/Inflation, January 6/Ginni Thomas, Hunter Biden Investigation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Cawthorn Allegations, and West Bank Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the war’s effects on the European and American economies; former President Donald Trump beseeches Vladimir Putin with requests for damaging information on President Joe Biden; the high price Americans are paying at the pump and in grocery stores; the January 6 committee’s investigation and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife Ginni’s texts to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows asking him to overturn the 2020 election; the DOJ’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant; GOP Congressman Madison Cawthorn tells a reporter powerful Republicans invited him to an orgy and did cocaine; and the Palestinian-Israeli violence in the West Bank were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

| March 9, 2022

Ryan Kaufman Adds KVOR, Colorado Springs PD Duties. Radio programmer Ryan Kaufman is promoted to program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KVOR-AM, Colorado Springs. Kaufman has been serving the company as PD for sports talk KCSF-AM “Xtra Sports 1300” and will continue in that role. Kaufman takes over for Bobby Irwin who continues in his position as operations manager of the Cumulus Colorado Springs station group and PD for two music brands. Cumulus Colorado Springs market manager Scott Jones says, “This is a well-deserved opportunity for Ryan. He’s a rising star in our business and you won’t find anyone more dedicated to and passionate about his trade. Ryan’s instincts are spot on and when you combine that with his tremendous work ethic, you achieve great results. I’m excited for us, for Ryan, and especially, for our listeners.” Kaufman comments, “Taking over a heritage station like KVOR is an amazing opportunity. Whether it’s sports or news/talk, the most important thing is the ability to engage in a conversation with the listener, talking about the issues that matter to them and keeping them informed. KVOR has been leading that conversation in Southern Colorado for decades with thought-provoking hosts and unrivaled news coverage. I look forward to working alongside news director Jim Arthur to not just maintain that standard but exceed it.”

 

 

Michael Berry Hosts Sold-Out ‘Great Texas Barbeque, Beer & Bourbon Blowout.’ Last Friday (3/4), KTRH, Houston-based, syndicated talk radio host Michael Berry hosted the sold-out “Great Texas Barbeque, Beer & Bourbon Blowout” in Houston that featured Premiere Networks syndicated personalities Jesse Kelly and the team of Clay Travis & Buck Sexton. The event treated a packed crowd of more than 1,200 listeners and fans to live music from country music artist Tracy Byrd as well as a conversation between the hosts about their careers and current events, including the conflict in Ukraine and the impact on the U.S., the midterm elections, and more. Michael Berry says, “Jesse and I love our fellow Texans here in Houston. Our listeners were keen to meet Clay and Buck and welcome them – Texas style, to our home with good food, good drinks, good music, and a good time. Clay and Buck loved ‘em back, and it was a great event all around. Radio can be a one-way medium – we talk into a microphone and they listen. For them to meet us, and more importantly, for us to meet them, reminds us why we do what we do and for whom.” Pictured above are (from l-r): Kelly, Berry Travis, and Sexton.

 

iHeartMedia’s Seattle Sports Talk KJR Adds Full-Market FM Signal. Seattle sports talk outlet KJR-AM gets an FM simulcast as iHeartMedia Seattle moves the hip hop on KUBE-FM to KUBE-HD3 and rebrands the sports station as “Sports Radio 93.3 KJR FM, Seattle’s Sports Leader.” KJR-AM will continue to air the sports format. iHeartMedia Seattle market president Mark Glynn says, “By moving the legendary KJR brand to the FM band, we’re going to be able to grow the next generation of Seattle Sports fans. With the combination of ‘Sports Radio 93.3 KJR FM,’ ‘Sports Radio 950 KJR AM’ and the iHeartRadio app, we enhance our sports platform and become the #1 destination for sports and currently the only FM sports platform in Seattle.”

 

 

John DePetro Broadcasts Live from Eastern Poland. Pictured above is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk host John DePetro broadcasting his radio program live on the radio station and Facebook Live from Rzeszow, Poland. DePetro tells TALKERS, “Challenging broadcast to say the least but valuable first-hand account of situation in Eastern Europe.” DePetro notes that Rzeszow is the closest airport to the border of Ukraine and main hub for thousands of refugees. He says he’s secured a translator and security and plans to broadcast later in the week from the Ukraine border.

 

RAB Extends President and CEO Erica Farber. As part of the Radio Advertising Bureau’s spring board of directors meeting held March 2-3 in Orlando, the organization announces a few updates “intended to maintain its executive ranks and strategically position the organization for continued growth as it serves a diverse and evolving broadcast radio industry.” Among those are the contract extension for president and CEO Erica Farber keeping her in that position through April 2024. The RAB’s executive committee also has reinstated and activated several new committees, including committees focused on bylaws, nominating, finance, strategy, investment, events, network, multicultural, and the National Radio Talent System. The committees are overseen by the RAB board of directors with participation by RAB’s senior staff and are intended to help the organization manage its day-to-day business, while planning ahead for the future and benefit of the radio industry. Also, at the meeting, Carolyn Fisher, partner, Southeast & Midwest Region, StateNets, officially joins the board of directors replacing Dave Martin.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, January 6 Capitol Attack Conviction, COVID-19, House Omnibus Bill, Postal Service Reform Act, and Brittney Griner Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/8). Russia’s ongoing invasion of the Ukraine and the West’s reaction; the soaring price of gas at the pump and high consumer retail prices; the first person to stand trial for the January 6 attack on the Capitol is convicted; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases and the rolling back of mask mandates; the U.S. House prepares to vote on an omnibus bill that would include $14 billion in Ukraine aid; Congress passes bill to overhaul USPS finances; and WNBA star Brittney Griner is detained in Russia after hashish oil found in her luggage were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

 

FOX News Media Has News Reporter Opportunity. This is a Washington, DC-based, full-time position for an experienced reporter. You will cover a wide range of political, government, and Congressional stories for FOX News Audio (FOX News Headlines 24/7 and FOX News Terrestrial Radio). You possess strong journalism skills and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Most importantly, you have great editorial judgement and the ability to break important news stories. See more about this position and apply here.

 

FOX News Seeks Freelance Producer/Editor. This freelance producer/editor position is based in New York and requires you to supervise the staff for FOX News Media’s network radio news operations (terrestrial and FOX News Headlines 24/7 – Channel 115 on SiriusXM Radio). As the freelance producer/news editor you are the editorial leader, working with news anchors to craft the content and structure of a 24/7 news operation. This is fast-moving news environment! Your ability to thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven newsroom allows you to deliver top-quality segments/newscasts. You excel at multi-tasking and pay close attention to details. Your writing and editing skills are excellent and your editorial judgment is first-rate. See more about the job and apply here.

Monday, August 16, 2021

| August 16, 2021

iHeartMedia Launches News/Talk Outlet in St. Louis. Urban contemporary KMJM “Majic 104.9” is gone (now available on KTLK-HD2) as iHeartMedia flips the signal to news/talk with new call letters KTLK-FM and the brand “104.9 The Patriot.” The station launches today and features market media pro Jamie Allman in morning drive and the much of the slate of conservative talk programming from Premiere Networks, including: Glenn Beck, Clay Travis & Buck Sexton, and Jesse Kelly, plus “The Ramsey Show” and Westwood One’s “Red Eye Radio.” iHeartMedia St. Louis market president John R. Beck, Jr. says, “St. Louis is excited to welcome a talk radio station featuring the latest news, opinions, and discussions from a conservative point of view that isn’t afraid to engage with the other side. ‘104.9 The Patriot’ will deliver all of that and more every weekday.” Allman hosted mornings at crosstown news/talk KFTK-FM until 2018 when he exited in the aftermath of his social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg in April of that year.  Until that time, Allman had also been hosting “The Allman Report” on KDNL-TV “ABC-30.” Allman joined Salem Media Group’s KXFN-AM, St. Louis in early 2019 but Salem subsequently sold the signal, along with a number of others, to Relevant Radio later that year.

Monday Memo: Disinformation, the New Disco. As school bells ring – or don’t – angst is amplified, and employers’ vaccine mandates and renewed mask mandates echo a 2020 we’d like to forget. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke cautions that “the pandemic protocol resistance narrative is approaching its ‘use-by’ date.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: The Feedback & Agreement of Sales. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communcations Corp, writes in today’s column about the deadly effects of the “assumptive close.” He says, “What’s really going with these poorly timed assumptive closers? It’s all part of a fast track sell-by-email culture. When a seller bypasses key steps in any sales flow, the result is typically pushback. When an assumptive close is pushed too early in the sales flow, rapport and ease of access are stressed and difficult to reignite.” Read his piece here.

How Do the Dominion Lawsuits Affect Talk Hosts? TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in a column today (8/13) about the recent rulings allowing the lawsuits by Dominion Election Systems against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Lindell to go forward and the recently filed suits by Dominion against One America News Network, Newsmax, and FOX News. In denying the motions to dismiss by Powell, Giuliani, and Lindell, Federal Judge Carl Nichols wrote, “It is true that courts recognize the value in some level of ‘imaginative expression’ or ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ in our public debate…But it is simply not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election.” Weisman notes that the landmark NY Times v. Sullivan recognizes the importance of the media being able to report on newsworthy topics without the threat of being sued for minor errors in reporting. However, he says, “There is a responsibility that comes with the microphone and camera and that responsibility is to not make statements that you know to be false or to make statements of fact when you have not properly investigated the basis for making those statements.” Read his column here.

Jeff Sottolano to Take Over for Pat Paxton as Audacy Chief Programming Officer. Late Friday (8/13), Audacy announced that 21-year corporate programmer Pat Paxton is exiting the company and he’ll be replaced by company programmer Jeff Sottolano, who rises to executive vice president, head of programming. Audacy CEO David Field says of Paxton, “Pat has been a key leader in the organization for the past 21 years, spearheading programming and playing a critical role in helping us build many of the industry’s greatest brands. Pat’s steady, decisive leadership and thoughtful insights have made him a valuable and trusted voice on Audacy’s leadership team. Pat has left an outstanding legacy at Audacy which will stand the test of time. We deeply appreciate his many important contributions to our success and everything he has meant to this company. Please join me in thanking Pat for all of his excellent work at Audacy and wishing him all the best for the future.” Addressing Sottolano’s rise within the company, Field states, “Like Pat, Jeff is a veteran team member, having spent his entire career at Audacy, Entercom, CBS Radio and Infinity. Since the merger, he has played an important leadership role overseeing a number of initiatives and many key elements of our programming.  Over the past year, Jeff led our news transformation efforts and the launch of the BetQL Network. In addition, he expanded our programming data and analytics capabilities, managed our network content partnerships and contributed to our Audacy Exclusive Station launch strategy. In his new role, Jeff will be responsible for the content strategy and performance of Audacy’s local brands in all formats across both broadcast and digital distribution platforms. He will oversee our outstanding programming leadership team, including SVP, programming Dave Richards; VP, news Bill Smee; VP, sports Matt Volk, and Audacy’s team of experienced format VPs.  He will also work closely with our Music Initiatives and Live Events team led by SVP, music initiatives Michael Martin and SVP, promotions and experiences Chad Fitzsimmons, as Audacy curates amazing experiences for its listeners in-person and online. Finally, he will collaborate with digital leadership to ideate new and exclusive features and content on the Audacy app and distribution platform as the company expands its capabilities and offerings.”

Gen Media Partners Unveils G Networks. This new radio network sales and affiliates sales division of Gen Media Partners debuts as G Networks. The company says, “Rising in tandem with the Gen Media Partners successful umbrella of other radio divisions, G Networks will stand alone as a full-service audio network company that is already engaged with over 250 million listeners each month through over 4,000 affiliated radio stations. G Networks has an existing and extensive portfolio of high-quality audio services, produced features, research services, entertainment, sports, news, and programming.” Gen Media Partners managing partner Warren Friedland adds, “Evolution isn’t possible without change. It is with this ethos that we have upped the commitment and engagement for our G Networks radio division and are focusing on what is now vitally important to advertisers and stations in the current media environment. With an eye to the future, we intend to both invest and transform the future of audio.”

Big Joe Staysniak Exits Sports Talk ‘The Fan’ in Indy. Longtime Emmis Communications air personality Big Joe Staysniak has exited “The Fan Morning Show.” The company says in a statement, “Big Joe Staysniak is no longer with Emmis and ‘The Fan.’ We would like to thank Big Joe for his many contributions to Emmis since he joined WIBC in 1998. He was always a fan favorite, and his knowledgeable insights and affable nature will be missed by his coworkers and listeners. We wish him nothing but the best in his next chapter.” Staysniak had been co-hosting the morning show with Jeff Rickard but Rickard recently left “The Fan” to take the brand manager position at Audacy’s WEEI, Boston. Meanwhile, Kevin Bowen continues as morning host at “The Fan” and it’s unclear at this time if Emmis will hire a co-host to work with him. The company recently took “The Fan” off WFNI-AM and shut the signal down after selling its transmitter property for development. “The Fan” is currently heard on WIBC-HD2 and translators W228CX at 93.5 FM and W298BB at 107.5 FM.

TALKERS News Notes. In the wake of the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti early Saturday morning (8/14) the Salem Radio Network announces that it is using its network-wide resources to generate food donations for victims. The quake Saturday was worse than the 2010 earthquake that left 220,000 dead across the island nation. SRN’s 24/7 news service SRN News and its news/talk counterpart TOWNHALL News have immediately launched a campaign to generate donations for Florida-based Christian non-profit relief organization FOOD FOR THE POOR. SRN V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “For over 35 years FOOD FOR THE POOR has had boots on the ground in Haiti, and their teams are uniquely qualified to distribute food to earthquake-devastated areas of Haiti through their network of local churches.” The Haiti earthquake relief effort will be joined by SRN’s nationally syndicated talk hosts Mike GallagherEric Metaxas, Sebastian Gorka, Hugh Hewitt and Carl Jackson (who is guest-hosting Larry Elder’s national talk show while Elder runs for Governor of California in the state’s September 14th Recall.)…..“Bar Fights: Taking on Issues that Matter,” a new podcast hosted by advocate, survivor and preeminent sexual abuse attorney Sarah Klein makes its debut today. Klein is also a former gymnast and the first known survivor of former Olympic women’s gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. In 2018, she accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs for the bravery that she and her sister survivors exhibited to bring Nassar to justice. On “Bar Fights,” Klein goes after the issues that matter to protect children and vulnerable adults from perpetrators of sexual abuse, the institutions that enable them, and the laws that protect them. “Using my voice and platform to create awareness and positive change has been a huge part of my healing journey. It is an honor to bring on such an incredible line-up of guests who will inform, inspire, and challenge our listeners. To affect real change, we all have to do our part. That’s what we are doing here on ‘Bar Fights.’”…..Pictured below is Tom Griswold, host of the nationally syndicated “The BOB & TOM Show” in an Indianapolis hospital recovering from heart valve replacement surgery. It will be several weeks before he returns to his microphone at the studio, but a home studio is being assembled so he can get back on the air quicker. Those wishing to send well wishes to Tom may send them to: getwell@bobandtom.com.

WFOY, St. Augustine Owner Kris Phillips Dies. Lifelong broadcaster Kris Phillips, whose Phillips Broadcasting owns news/talk WFOY-AM, St. Augustine, has died at age 61 after a long illness. The station’s Facebook page features her obituary. Phillips, a native of Chicago, worked in the TV news and weather business for most of her career. She settled in St. Augustine in 2008 and formed the company that would buy WFOY and sister WAOC. Phillips had lived with Type 1 diabetes since she was a child and battled cancer twice.

COVID-19 Stats, Vaccines & Mandates, Taliban Takes Afghanistan, Haiti Earthquake, COVID Benefits Cyberfraud, Western Wildfires/Drought, Newsom Recall Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rising rate of COVID-19 cases on some parts of the U.S. and the controversy over vaccines and mask mandates; criticism of the Biden administration’s response as the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan; the aftermath of the deadly earthquake that hit Haiti; the report indicating that “tens of billions” of dollars of COVID relief benefits were stolen by cyberfraudsters abroad; the drought and wildfires plaguing the U.S. West; and the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Great News Opportunities at Saga Communications. The company is expanding its NEWS presence in several markets. Group program director Scott Chase says, “We are looking for news people who are more than just news people. If you’re a storyteller with a news mindset; if you’re charismatic and have a sense of humor; if you’re active in your community; if you’re interesting; if you’re an elite communicator, we’re looking for you. We want someone who understands how to reach the local listeners and make a story interesting. We want an individual who loves to connect with listeners and the leaders of their respective community. Are you still with us? If so, APPLY NOW. We are expanding our news footprint in South Dakota, Iowa, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, and the New England area, and we would love to talk to you about your ideas on news in a world that thinks the media delivers fake news. Saga Communications is a great company to work for and an equal opportunity employer. Apply Now!” Contact group program director, Scott Chase at schase@sagacom.com. Please send your resume, audio sample, and or writing sample.

Monday, June 28, 2021

| June 28, 2021

Monday Memo: Quoting Sgt. Hulka. Are you the soundtrack of The American Comeback? Or what consultant Holland Cooke calls “relentless negativity, even as polls demonstrate widespread optimism? The phrase ‘talk radio’ conjures a caricature. That seems not to be a problem for station owners and managers focused on FMs losing music consumers to streaming. Down the hall, legacy stations with once-proud call letters – now sadly referred to as ‘the AM’ – dispense daily discouragement. To the suits, that’s ‘talk radio.’” Get more of Cooke’s take on this by reading his column here.

Pending Business: Hunters and Farmers. Sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes today about a major university-based seminar he attended that identified two basic categories of sellers: “hunters” and “farmers.” The “hunter” personality enjoys the prospecting, contact, engagement, in essence the outright pursuit and negotiation of the deal. The “farmer” personality will be stronger at keeping current relationships fluid. Servicing current advertisers and easier legacy renewals are the farmer’s number one priority. Is you approach balanced or does it lean too much in one direction? Read his column here.

Video of First Session from TALKERS 2021 Conference Posted. The video of the first session from the TALKERS 2021 Conference held at Hofstra University on June 11 is posted above. In this opening session, TALKERS 2021 master of ceremonies and TALKERS general manager of broadcasting operations David Bernstein welcomes the attendees to the conference and introduces FOX News Radio talk host Jimmy Failla who provides opening remarks and performs his trademark stand-up comedy. Also, in this session is a greeting from Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, followed by the presentation by WPG, Atlantic City morning show host Harry Hurley of $5,000 from his charity to the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Also included: San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo kicks off the event with his saxophone rendition of the “National Anthem.” TALKERS magazine will continue posting videos of the panels and presentations from TALKERS 2021 this week and next at the rate of one session per day.

KPRC-AM, Houston Announces New Evening Programming. Houston news/talk KPRC-AM “AM 950, Real Texas, Real Talk” unveils new evening programming that begins today. Airing from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm is Sean Salisbury, who is venturing into the news/talk world in addition to his morning drive sports talk program that’s heard on iHeartMedia’s sister sports talker KBME, “Sportstalk 790 AM.” Also, KPRC is adding Premiere Networks’ “Jesse Kelly Show” in the 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm daypart. iHeartMedia Houston director of programming Bryan Erickson says, “Kelly, a U.S. Marine combat veteran, brings an exciting new perspective on the day’s events. He’s a unique and fresh voice in the talk radio landscape and one of the most entertaining guys I’ve ever heard.” Regarding Salisbury’s new show, Erickson adds, “The self-proclaimed ‘news junkie’ is anxious to talk about events outside the realm of sports. If he could, Salisbury would be on the air 24 hours a day. He loves what he does, and his passion is off the charts.”

WGFX-FM, Nashville ‘104.5 The Zone’ Unveils ‘3 The Pro Way’ Podcast. Nashville sports talk outlet WGFX-FM, “104.5 The Zone” announces the launch of a new podcast titled, “3 The Pro Way,” hosted by Nashville sports figures Kevin Dyson, a former Titans wide receiver; Joey Kent, a Vol For Life and former Titans wide receiver; and Todd Campbell, a former who Western Kentucky University football player. The podcast is the newest addition to the “104.5 The Zone Podcast Network.” The debut episode features guest former Tennessee Titans great  and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, who currently serves as head coach of the Tennessee State Tigers. The Cumulus Media sports talk station says, “‘3 The Pro Way’ shares the stories of the three African American athletes and business professionals, who have each transformed their respective athletic careers into different careers, allowing them to learn, grow and become successful through those unique paths. Kent, Dyson, and Campbell will give advice and discuss concepts for how to successfully transition from one career to another. They will also welcome guests who have gone through similar career journeys to share their personal and professional perspectives and provide podcast listeners with helpful takeaways on how to transition from one career to an entirely new one.” WGFX program director Paul Mason says, “When Kevin, Joey, and Todd first shared their ‘3 The Pro Way’ podcast idea, I knew the 104.5 The Zone Podcast Network would be the perfect partner. I look forward to hearing a weekly conversation with different athletes and professionals on their career transitions. I am also excited to work with Todd, Joey, and Kevin in growing ‘3 The Pro Way’ within the ‘104.5 The Zone Podcast Network.’” The “104.5 The Zone Podcast Network” was launched in April, when the Nashville sports station announced that it had entered into a content partnership agreement with popular online sports information and entertainment destination, A to Z Sports.

PodcastOne Inks Deals to Distribute Podcasts. The five podcasts that PodcastOne has just acquired the sales and distribution rights to are: “Killer Genes,” “@lexie,” “Trust Me,” “Underworld,” and “Walk-Ins Welcome” – all of which will appear in the True Crime, Society & Culture and Documentary category. Podcast One president Kit Gray says, “PodcastOne actively seeks unique and compelling content for our network and being able to add these shows: “Killer Genes,” “@lexie,” “Trust Me,” “Underworld” and “Walk-Ins Welcome” to our network is something we consider a real coup as we increase the varied genre content we make available to listeners, potential listeners and to advertisers.”

Dartmouth Puts Radio Station Up for Sale. The Valley News reports that Dartmouth College is putting its commercial radio station for up sale. A spokesperson for the school says that WFRD-FM “has not met revenue expectations and has been operating ‘in the red.’” The station has just one paid staffer Chris Fazio, a.k.a. Chris Garrett, who handles morning show duties as well as ad sales. The Class A FM is a 6,000-watt signal that serves the Hanover and Lebanon, New Hampshire towns.

Florida Condo Collapse, COVID-19, Infrastructure Deal, Trump Ohio Rally, U.S. Iran Strikes, Election Fraud Claims/Giuliani’s NY Law License Suspended, Big City Gun Violence, Kim Jong Un Weight Loss, and Northwest Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The search for survivors of Florida’s condo collapse and early reports of inspections and repair delays; concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant and the slowing rate of vaccinations; the compromise infrastructure deal; Donald Trump holds a rally in Ohio and continues claims of election fraud; Joe Biden orders strikes on Iran-backed militants on Syrian border; the issue of 2020 election fraud claims and Rudy Giuliani’s New York law license is suspended; the soaring rate of gun violence in America’s big cities; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s weight loss; and the record-setting heat wave affecting the Pacific Northwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.