Joe Thomas | TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.” : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Tag: "Joe Thomas"

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

| July 5, 2022

Monday Memo: Vino, Vodka, Video. All this month, consultant Holland Cooke is using his weekly column to offer “Inflation Hacks,” dozens of ways to cope with “the rising cost of EVERYTHING,” tips for your listeners (and you). Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Halftime. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the third and fourth quarters of 2022 are looking a little foggy due to inflation and the possibility of recession, but says, “The good news is by now you’ve met with your manager and second half adjustments are in place. You have agreed on the course correction expectations and the game plan that will help you power through the dynamics of a constantly changing business environment.” He offers some suggestions for tackling the next six months and keeping those commission checks coming in here.

New TALKERS 2022 Session Video Posted. The latest video from the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University to be posted is the panel discussion, “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization.” The panel was moderated by WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano and featured panelists: Mandy Connell, host, KOA, Denver; Jeff Katz, host, WRVA, Richmond; Joe Thomas, PD, WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia; Dr. Daliah Wachs, physician/host, Genesis Communications Network; and Lisa Wexler, host, WICC, Bridgeport/Probate Judge, Connecticut. View the video here.

HRN Media Launches Carlos Baerga Show for Hispanic Audiences. A new, daily feature titled, “Are You Ready to Play Ball with Carlos Baerga and Legends from Yesterday and Today” is debuting in national syndication from HRN Media Networks. The 90-second feature includes baseball analytics and interviews with elite players. HRN Media Networks president Clark Logan says, “Carlos is an energetic and dynamic sports figure, who will entertain listeners. Baseball is the most popular American sport among Hispanics, and Carlos’s insights about the game and the top-name players that will join him will engage sports fans.” Baerga comments, “I am excited to launch my Hispanic radio career with the HRN Network and talk about my favorite topic… baseball. Listeners will get behind-the-scenes stories from the elite players we’re going to have on as guests.  I can’t wait to get started.”

Former Florida Sports Talk Host Hank Goldberg Dead at 82. Numerous mainstream news outlets, including CBS Sports, are reporting the death of former sports talk host “Hammerin’ Hank” Goldberg, who died on his 82nd birthday at his Las Vegas home. Goldberg hosted a South Florida sports talk show first on WIOD and later on WQAM from 1978 through 2007. He also became a nationally known reporter and prognosticator. Goldberg had been battling kidney disease and CBS Sports reports that Goldberg, who’d been working for CBS Sports HQ and SportsLine, continued to work until about three weeks ago, despite his declining health. Goldberg broke into the sports media world ghost-writing Jimmy The Greek’s syndicated gambling column. He also worked at ESPN.

The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Fourth of July/Deadly Illinois Shooting, Midterms/2024/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, Brittney Griner Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The high price of gas & food, the declining financial markets, and threats of a recession; the January 6 Committee hearings and questions about former President Donald Trump’s role in the Capitol assault; the Fourth of July holiday and the shooting in suburban Chicago that took the lives of six people; the midterm elections, speculation about presidential candidates in 2024, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy; and American basketball player Brittney Griner writes a letter to President Joe Biden from her Russian jail were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, June 17, 2022

| June 17, 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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Take a Hike,” looks back at this past week of 6/13 to 6/17. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Paul Gleiser, talk show host/owner KTBB, Tyler, TX; Joe Thomas, talk show host/PD, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA; Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS/media law professor; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford, CT; and  Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network. The show airs weekends 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; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; 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 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.

 

TALKERS magazine Presents Annual Awards at TALKERS 2022 Convention. After two years of not presenting annual awards (2020 and 2021) at the TALKERS convention due to COVID-19 interruptions, TALKERS magazine presented four awards to talk media broadcasters on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University at the TALKERS 2022 convention. As we reported on Wednesday (6/15), WOLB-AM, Baltimore morning host Larry Young was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. At the Breakfast session, KOA, Denver talk host Mandy Connell (pictured below) was presented with the Woman of the Year Award.

 

WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive personality Jeff Katz (above) was honored for his charity work dedicated to children with developmental challenges and to organizations supporting law enforcement with the Humanitarian of the Year Award.

 

At the convention’s Closing Reception, “Free Talk Live” co-founder Mark Edge (above left, being congratulated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, right) accepted the 2022 Freedom of Speech Award for the program’s co-founder and lead host Ian Freeman, whose work fighting for what he sees as the freedoms we all should enjoy as Americans has earned him accolades as well as the ire of those – including some New Hampshire and federal authorities – who see him as a troublemaker, or worse.

 

Audacy Teams Up ‘Bernstein and Holmes’ for Middays at ‘The Score.’ The new midday show at Audacy’s WSCR-AM, Chicago “670 The Score” features two of the station’s longtime hosts – Dan Bernstein and Laurence Holmes. As part of a station programming update, the new “Bernstein and Holmes” show will air from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, beginning June 20. The morning drive “Mully and Haugh” show adds an extra hour and will be heard from 5:30 am to 10:00 am. Leila Rahimi, who had been co-hosting with Bernstein but accepted a new gig as lead sports anchor at NBC 5 in Chicago, will continue in her role on “Leila Wednesdays” on “Bernstein and Holmes.” WSCR brand manager Mitch Rosen states, “Our all-star Chicago lineup improves with ‘Mully and Haugh’ extending later into the morning and two teammates who have worked together for 20-plus years finally sharing a microphone on a regular basis. We couldn’t be more excited for this updated lineup.” Bernstein had previously hosted late mornings on the station. Holmes previously served as host from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.

 

KIRO-AM, Seattle Unveils New ‘Bump & Stacy’ Midday Show. Seattle sports talk personality Stacy Rost is getting a new partner as Michael Bumpus joins her for the new “Bump & Stacy” program on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “Seattle Sports,” airing from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Station program director Kyle Brown comments, “We’re thrilled Michael Bumpus will be stepping in to join Stacy Rost as a full-time host from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm each weekday. Bump has spent years preparing for this opportunity and I have no doubt he’s ready for this moment. ‘Bump & Stacy’ will bring four hours of unending fun to ‘Seattle Sports’ listeners daily.” Michael Bumpus –who played football at Washington State University before going on to a pro career with the Seattle Seahawks and BC Lions – now serves as the host of the Seahawks pregame, postgame and halftime shows and as a television analyst for the PAC12 Network. Stacy Rost joined “Seattle Sports” as a staff writer and Seahawks Insider in 2017. She has spent the past three years as a talk show host with “Seattle Sports” and producing daily Seahawks Insider reports.

 

Mike Conti Named Brand Manager for ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. News and sports radio pro Mike Conti is promoted to brand manager for Audacy’s sports talk WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.” Audacy says that in this role, Conti will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the station. He will continue in his current role as radio play-by-play announcer for the station’s flagship coverage of the Atlanta United FC and as host of the Atlanta Hawks Radio Network. Audacy Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey comments, “Mike has stepped up to the challenge of leading our programming team on an interim basis since February and he has earned this opportunity to lead WZGC. We are excited to have his leadership as we continue to build on our performance of providing the very best in entertainment and sports content for our audience and business partners.” Conti joined “92.9 The Game” in October 2012 from WGST-AM, Atlanta where he served as assistant news director. At WZGC, Conti has served as managing editor, overseeing coverage and production of live sports events. He says, “I want to thank Rick Caffey and my teammates at ‘92.9 The Game’ for the opportunity to lead such a talented group of content creators. As someone who has been with ‘The Game’ since the day we signed on 10 years ago, it has been remarkable to see us evolve into Atlanta’s go-to source of sports information and entertainment, and I look forward to continuing that evolution.”

 

Round Four of May PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s May 2022 sweep covered April 28 – May 25. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK-FM dips two-tenths to finish with a 7.2 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and slips to the #4 rank, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF loses half a share for a 1.5 share finish and landing in the #17 rank. Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee remains in the #1 spot after adding four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 10.3 share. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WISN puts up a 2.1 share increase to finish with a 9.6 share that vaults it into the #2 rank. Although dipping by two-tenths and finishing with a 5.9 share, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville climbs to the #4 rank. After losing a full share, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville wraps the survey with a 9.6 share and falls from #1 to #2. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

 

NPR and Edison Research Reveal Results of 2022 Smart Audio Report. The 2022 Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research was released on Thursday (6/16). The report highlights the increased usage of voice technology, with 35% of Americans 18-plus now owning a smart speaker. This year’s study compares the most recent survey results with the 2017 Smart Audio Report, and also revisits families who were interviewed in 2017, creating a comprehensive picture of the changes over the last five years. Some of the key findings from the study include: 1) Voice technology is everywhere: In 2022, 62% of Americans 18-plus use a voice assistant on any device, and those devices can include: smart speakers, smartphones, TV remotes, in-car systems, a computer/laptop, tablet, among others; 2) Overall usage of voice tech is increasing: In 2022, 57% of voice command users use voice commands daily. Twenty percent of smart speaker owners spend most of their audio time listening through a smart speaker, up from 18% in 2017. The weekly number of tasks is increasing: In 2022, smart speaker owners request an average of 12.4 tasks on their device each week, up from 7.5 in 2017. Smartphone voice assistant users request an average of 10.7 tasks weekly, up from 8.8 in 2020; and 3) Ad messages delivered via voice tech are heard: Half of smart speaker owners have heard an ad on their smart speaker. Fifty-three percent of smart speaker owners who have heard an ad on their device agree they are likely to respond to ads on their smart speaker. Almost half (48%) of smart speaker owners who have heard an ad on their device say that compared to hearing an ad in another place, hearing it on their smart speaker would make them more likely to consider the brand. Find out more here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Next Tuesday (6/21), Newsmax will present a live New York Republican Gubernatorial Primary Debate at 8:00 pm at the famed Kodak Center in Rochester. Moderating the debate for Newsmax will be Eric Bolling and the leading candidates – Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani, Harry Wilson, and Lee Zeldin will take part. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy states, “People across New York are hungry to learn about the Republican candidates as they make their choice in this critical primary. Newsmax is glad to be actively involved across the nation a series of debate and town hall events to further voter awareness.”…..Audacy announces the launch of a new show, “Hey Mayne,” from its sports podcast studio 2400Sports, premiering June 23. Longtime ESPN host Kenny Mayne leads the program that “blends the sports culture with entertainment, politics, music, comedy, and beyond.” Mayne says, “I want to ask guests not just about their work, but who they are. I want to know what people were like in kindergarten. Because I think who you were then is basically who you are today.”…..Nineteen students just successfully completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute’s broadcast radio training program at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. The return of the in-person, 10-day immersive professional development course for college students also marks the first institute to be produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau since it acquired the National Radio Talent System in August of 2020. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “An integral part of the RAB’s mission is providing the industry with the tools and resources to help broadcasters attract new sales talent to the medium and enhance radio’s professionalism through training and support. Bringing back the talent institutes was a top priority for RAB, and we are excited by this year’s Kellar graduating class, all future broadcasters.”…..iHeartMedia’s WDAS-AM, Philadelphia “FOX Sports Radio, The Gambler”  announces that the popular sports podcast “The Divide Live” will make its official broadcast radio debut on the station’s Sunday afternoon drive lineup, effective June 19. Airing from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, “The Divide Live” features two longtime friends – Mike, a diehard Mets fan and Corey, a diehard Yankees fan. Together, the dynamic duo hash it out about all things sports, life and current events…..NRG Media’s sports talk KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” will remain the flagship home for the NCAA Men’s College World Series through 2026. The new five-year contract extension with Westwood One begins this year. NRG Media has been the radio home of the Men’s College World Series in Omaha since 1997…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, announces that sports media executive Len Mead will join the VSiN team as general manager. VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger states, “Len has excelled at creating original content and growing audience across all platforms throughout his career, and we’re thrilled to add his expertise to our leadership team. Not only does Len bring a wealth of media experience from his prior roles at ESPN, NBC Sports, NESN and others, but he also brings sports betting industry knowledge from his time as head of content for PointsBet. We believe this combination will help VSiN deliver its premium sports betting content to even more bettors, on more platforms, in new ways.”

 

The Economy and the National Mood Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 13-17. The state of the U.S. economy, including the sinking Dow & NASDAQ, soaring gas & food prices, and fears of a recession – combined with the unsettled national mood – came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics tied with Tuesday’s midterm election primaries, followed by the January 6 Committee hearings 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.

Friday, June 3, 2022

| June 3, 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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Short Week,” looks back at this past week of 5/30 to 6/3. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Joe Thomas, talk show host/program director, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/podcaster, MDEdge Psychcast; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston/founder Samicide.com; and Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network. The show airs weekends 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; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; 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 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.

 

Wynter and Massey Promoted to Full Time at WSB, Atlanta. As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, air personalities Shelley Wynter and MalaniKai Massey are joining the Cox Media Group Atlanta staff as full timers. They began co-hosting “Word on the Street” on news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM on a weekly basis back in 2019. Later, the program was given nightly status airing at 9:00, but conservative Wynter and more liberal Massey remained part-time employees. Along with this promotion, “Word on the Street” assumes the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, effective June 13. Massey tells the AJC that getting the full-time status was a “test of faith and endurance and perseverance. There were times I wanted to quit and give up before I was on WSB. But I kept pushing and keeping an eye on the prize. This has been very emotional.”

 

Alex Jones Trial Damages Phase Set for September After Bankruptcy Scheme Fails. Several reports, including this one from Kate Marino at Axios, reveal that Alex Jones’ attempt use bankruptcy laws to avoid what could be large damages paid to families of the Sandy Hook school massacre victims, has failed and the September damages trail in Connecticut remains  scheduled. At issue here was Jones’ strategy to use a new subchapter of the U.S. bankruptcy code to declare Chapter 11 for three of his companies that did little or no business and thereby triggering an “automatic stay” on the case. But the subchapter was designed to help struggling small business delay payments to creditors while reorganizing and not as a strategy to simply delay a trial. In addition to the Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog seeking to dismiss the bankruptcy cases for Jones’ companies, the Sandy Hook families also dropped their suits against those companies but are continuing to seek damages from Alex Jones himself. The piece notes that in the Connecticut state court damages trial, “Jones may face much higher penalties than the $10 million he offered in the bankruptcy deal.”

 

Alpha Media Flips CHR KTFM to Sports Talk as Simulcast of KZDC-AM in San Antonio. Sports talk outlet KZDC-AM “San Antonio Sports Star” gets a full-market FM signal as Alpha Media flips CHR KTFM at 94.1 to a simulcast of KZDC. Afternoon host Jason Minnix writes a blog piece on the station’s site announcing the additional signal. He says, “Moving to 94.1 is huge – the signal is 37 times bigger than what we had yesterday. You know I am a music guy so this is like a band that started playing clubs, moved to arenas and is now playing massive stadiums. Like going from Wolff Stadium to Jerry’s World… This move to 94.1 gives San Antonio one of the biggest sports stations signal wise in the state. Dallas has a sports station with a bigger signal. Houston doesn’t. Austin doesn’t.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. In a move announced by the company’s board of directors, Saga Communications declares a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share, an increase from the previous quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share. This dividend will be paid on July 1, 2022, to shareholders of record on June 13, 2022. The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the quarterly dividend will be approximately $1.2 million. The quarterly cash dividend will be funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet. Including this dividend, the company will have paid over $79 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012…..iHeartMedia and acclaimed film and television producer Meryl Poster, the founder of Superb Entertainment, announce the season two launch of “Call Your Grandmother,” the show that features New York grandmothers – 83-year-old Ellin Grodsky and 92-year-old Rita Kaye – and celebrates Jewish grandmothers and the irreverent qualities that make them natural comedians…..Mark Fratrik, Ph.D., BIA Advisory Services’ SVP and chief economist, is retiring from the company, effective June 30. BIA says he’ll continue as a strategic advisor and analyst to the company offering continuity for the firm’s forecasting, insights and analytics services that will now be led by Nicole Ovadia, VP of forecasting and analysis. BIA CEO and founder Tom Buono comments, “When I look at the accomplishments of BIA over Mark’s 21-year tenure at BIA, there’s a direct correlation between our success and Mark’s dedication and expertise. Mark’s competence in analyzing the economic forces driving the local media industry has guided our forecasting efforts and allowed us to continuously deliver high-quality, reliable data and insights. His analyses have been integral to informing and influencing decisions at the highest levels of our industry and the government, and his service to BIA has been immeasurable.”

 

Mass Shootings Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 30 – June 3. The recent spate of mass shootings and the controversy over gun control legislation was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the state of the economy, the national mood, and Elon Musk’s battle with Tesla employees, followed by the infection rate of COVID-19 cases 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.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

| July 1, 2021

TALKERS 2021 Conference Video Posted – “Programming News/Talk Radio in the ‘20s.” The fourth video, under the direction of Art Vuolo, from the TALKERS 2021 Conference that took place at Hofstra University on June 11, is posted. This installment explores the main challenges facing spoken-word commercial radio’s largest and most influential format as we move into the highly unpredictable third decade of 21st century. Introduced and sponsored by Doug Stephan of the “DJV Show” and moderated by Mike McVay, CEO of McVay Media Consulting, the panel includes Phil Boyce, senior VP/spoken word format, Salem Media Group/Salem Radio Network and VP/operations New York region; Michael Czarnecki, PD, WONK-FM, Washington, DC/iHeart Podcast ChannelDave LaBrozzi, SVP/programming, Red Apple MediaJosh Leng, CEO, Talk Media NetworkGreg Stocker, executive producer, Rich Zeoli Show and APD, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Joe Thomas, morning show host/PD, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA. TALKERS will be posting a new video from TALKERS 2021 each business day until all 10 are archived and available for on-demand viewing.

WFAN, New York Programmer Mark Chernoff Honored with Studio Naming. Yesterday (6/30) was Mark Chernoff’s last day on the job at Audacy’s WFAN, New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. Chernoff retired from the company after an illustrious career in which he served as program director for legendary sports talk outlet WFAN for 28 years. In honor of his service, the company dedicated the sports newsroom as “The Mark Chernoff WFAN Newsroom.” Pictured above are (top l-r): Craig Carton, Chernoff, Al Dukes, and Eddie Scozzare and (bottom l-r): Boomer Esiason, Jerry Recco, and Chris Oliviero. The plaque reads: “Program Director 1993-2021. Influenced the sound of New York sports over four decades while nurturing the careers of many who traveled this space. Dedicated June 30th, 2021.” (Photo: Audacy)

WSB, Atlanta Meteorologist Kirk Mellish to Retire; Christina Edwards to Join the Station. A meteorologist dedicated just to a radio station is indeed a rare thing in today’s media landscape and Cox Media Group’s WSB Radio (WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta) has enjoyed the service of “first and only radio-only” meteorologist Kirk Mellish for 34 years. Mellish will retire at the end of July and transition into a consultant role through the end of the year. However, the station will not be without a meteorologist as Christina Edwards will assume the role. Mellish says, “When I joined WSB in Atlanta in July 1987 just three years after graduation, I never would have thought I’d stay this long. It has been a blessing to turn my childhood hobby into a career and to serve most of these decades as the first radio-only, full-time meteorologist in the country. This is the type of broadcasting innovation typical of WSB and CMG leadership in the industry. It has been an honor and privilege to work with so many great colleagues and big names in our business in management, on-air and behind the scenes. I look forward to the next chapter in my life and am excited to pass the baton, or should I say barometer, to Christina Edwards who will be a great fit for the tradition of weather coverage on 95.5 WSB.” About her new position, Edwards says, “I am thrilled to be joining the legendary 95.5 WSB Radio! I grew up in metro Atlanta, listening to Kirk Mellish’s weather reports during my family’s daily commute, and I continue to listen even today. I appreciate Kirk’s ability to break down complex weather forecasts in a way listeners can understand. And, of course, diving into the details online in his weather blog. I am thankful for Kirk’s service and weather forecasts. It is an honor to join 95.5 WSB Radio and continue in the footsteps of Kirk’s legacy.”

iHeartMedia and Audacy Honored by Philly Civic Organization. The Philadelphia operations of iHeartMedia have been named a 2021 honoree of The Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia by Philadelphia Foundation, in partnership with Points of Light and other local partners. Modeled after Points of Light’s national program, The Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia provides a standard for corporate citizenship and showcases how employers use their time, skills and resources to drive social impact in their communities and company. iHeartMedia Philadelphia director of news and community affairs Loraine Ballard Morrill says, “iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s six stations have a long history of community service, especially critical during this pandemic. We are deeply honored to receive this recognition. To quote President Barack Obama, ‘If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope.’” Audacy vice president of social impact Sarah Harris says, “We are honored to be recognized as one of the region’s most community-minded companies. And I am thrilled to share our national impact and commitment to supporting sound communities in our inaugural social impact report. Thank you to our employees, partners and neighbors for the incredible work you do to move people to action within our markets.” Pictured below at a ceremony for the honor are (from l-r): Michael Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia; Natalye Paquin, president & CEO, Points of Light Foundation; Sarah Harris, VP social impact, Audacy; David Yadgaroff, SVP / market manager, Audacy Philadelphia; Diane Melley, Points of Light board member & executive director, Philadelphia Foundation; Pedro Ramos, president & CEO, Philadelphia Foundation.

HOLIDAY DOUBLE HEADER: Mandy Connell and Vince Benedetto Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. KOA, Denver 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality Mandy Connell and Bold Gold Media Group founder/CEO Vince Benedetto are this week’s guests on a special Independence Week edition of the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison states, “We wanted to do a short-but-sweet salute to the nation’s 245th birthday and the selection of Mandy Connell and Vince Benedetto really fits the bill. Mandy is a refreshingly objective conservative commentator and rising star in news/talk radio armed with facts, wit and goodwill. She articulates the subjective nature of today’s media and the role that it plays in perpetuating the wave of polarization gripping our republic. Vince Benedetto is a former Air Force pilot and U.S. intelligence agent with a remarkable wealth of scholarly knowledge about the founding fathers and the formative years of America’s development from Thomas Jefferson all the way through the mega-challenges faced by Abraham Lincoln. Together, but separately, Mandy and Vince present an informative and thought-provoking tribute to our nation’s past, present and future. Happy Birthday, America!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here

iHeartMedia Unveils ‘NextUp’ Podcasting Initiative. The iHeartPodcast Network is launching an initiative called “NextUp” that takes up-and-coming and underrepresented diverse creators and gives them a chance to learn all about the world of podcasting from iHeartMedia. This initiative is being led by iHeartPodcast Network executive producer Anna Hossnieh and executive podcast producer Joelle Smith. Hossnieh says, “I’m excited to help launch ‘NextUp’ with the iHeartPodcast Network, an initiative that takes underrepresented diverse creators and gives them a chance to learn all about the world of podcasting from one of the largest global podcasting networks. Led by myself and fellow executive podcast producer Joelle Smith, the program will mentor two people in each of iHeart’s three major podcasting hubs: Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. We believe by helping to elevate the voices of underrepresented storytellers and providing an incredible opportunity to be heard, iHeart will become the epicenter of compelling podcast talent and an industry leader in helping to address the market inefficiencies among underrepresented audio creators. The program will take place over five months and include a monthly stipend. ‘NextUp’ aims to empower participants by giving them the tools to succeed in the podcast industry – from developing and marketing a podcast to using industry-leading software. Participants in ‘NextUp’ will learn from some of iHeartRadio’s top creators and leave the program with at least three finished episodes and a polished pitch for their podcast. Submissions to apply for the program open July 5 – July 9 and can be found here.

Trump Org CFO Surrenders, COVID-19, Tucker Carlson NSA Allegations, Condo Collapse, Big City Violent Crime, Cosby Released, House January 6 Investigation, CCP Anniversary, Heatwaves, and Donald Rumsfeld Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/30). Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg surrenders to authorities after being indicted by a grand jury; concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant and the slowing rate of vaccinations in the U.S.; FOX News host Tucker Carlson claims he’s being surveilled by the NSA on the Biden administration’s orders; the continuing rescue efforts at the collapsed condo in Florida; the soaring rate of violent crime in America’s large cities; Bill Cosby is released from prison after a PA court overturned his conviction; the U.S. House plan to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack; the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping’s warning to the West; the record-setting heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast; and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, June 7, 2021

| June 7, 2021

Monday Memo: Is Your Imaging Boastful or Benefit-Laden? Noting that “the first Star Wars movie was 44 years ago,” consultant Holland Cooke pleads that “it’s time to retire those whizzing sounds that still litter on-air promos.” And in this week’s column, he cautions against copy clichés that sound equally dated. Read it here.

Pending Business: Survey Says… Radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column that the recent NPR/Edison study showing that “connection seekers” and “infomaniacs” are fine with hearing ads is good news for news/talk radio stations, however, poorly executed creative can kill any benefit you station is getting from these groups’ acceptance of ads. Read his piece here.

Ransomware Attacks, COVID-19, Trump North Carolina Speech, 2020 Vote Audits, Biden Infrastructure Bill, Voting Rights Bill, and Immigration Reform/Kamala Harris’ Latin America Trip Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The growing number of ransomware attacks affecting American businesses and utilities; the fast-declining rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the rate of vaccination, and questions about the origin of the coronavirus; former President Donald Trump’s speech before North Carolina Republicans and speculation about his political future; the audit of 2020 presidential votes taking place in Arizona and New Hampshire; negotiations in Congress over President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill; West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s statement he will not back Biden’s For The People voting act; and Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Latin America and the related topic of immigration reform were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root Gets International Press for Political Strategy Advice to Donald Trump. Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root was among the talk radio hosts to interview former President Donald Trump as he made his first round of media appearances since leaving office. During the conversation, Root suggested Trump run for a House seat in Florida in 2022 and, in his words, “lead the GOP to a resounding House takeover, then become Speaker of the House, and then become Biden’s worst nightmare, block Biden’s agenda for the next 2 years, open multiple criminal investigations against Biden, lead the impeachment of Biden, dominate the news cycle, then be in perfect position to win back the presidency leading into 2024. Trump liked the idea and was clearly intrigued.” Numerous media outlets picked up on the interview and Root got press in the New York Post, TMZ, the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Newsweek, and more.

Salem Radio Network Host Eric Metaxas Loses YouTube Channel. The Washington Times reports that Salem Radio Network talk host and Salem Books author Eric Metaxas has lost one of his YouTube channels for violating the social media platform’s community guidelines. Metaxas’ digital producer Chris Himes tells the paper Metaxas’ YouTube channel was banned after getting three strikes in a 90-day period, the latest apparently was an interview with Naomi Wolf in which she criticized COVID lockdown policies, leading YouTube to conclude the program violated the “medical misinformation policy,” Other programs that were flagged contained content YouTube said promoted, “false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election.” Metaxas told listeners to his radio show, “I’m all hopped up. I’m crazy because I got knocked off of YouTube permanently. People don’t realize it — this is a huge financial hit, but you know what, it’s because we’re over the target.”

SRN’s Charlie Kirk Show Added for Early Afternoons at Virginia Stations. Beginning June 21, Salem Radio Networks’ “The Charlie Kirk Show” is joining the program lineup at Monticello Media’s news/talk WCHV, Charlottesville and news/talk/sports WRAD, Blacksburg, Virginia in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Program director Joe Thomas says, “Since the talk radio format has been built on the ‘Rush Limbaugh Show’ since it launched in 1988 and so has the success of WCHV, needless to say this was the biggest decision of my career. When I arrived here in 2007 the station’s biggest audience was 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and we’ve built this station around serving the listener. But now it’s time to head into the future and to see what Charlie has already built with Turning Point USA. I know his is the show to continue that… We poured over all the information on all the options out there and there are great folks that will be doing terrific things, I’m sure. However, when I saw the esteem that Rush himself had for Charlie I knew that his show is the one that would meet the needs of Rush’s audience and help bring more of the young folks who Charlie already connects with to the station, and that’s a win-win.”

Dr. Asa Andrew Takes on Diabetes in This Fall’s Season of ‘Reversed.’ This fall, the third season of the reality TV show “Reversed” will air on WGN America and Discovery and in it, Dr. Asa Andrew and business partner Charles Mattocks will take on Diabetes. Dr. Asa Andrew is one of the leading personalities in health radio and television programming (as well as a member of the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred). Dr. Asa says, “This is our third season of ‘Reversed’ and the networks have been thrilled with the audience and the message. The show is designed as reality TV with a purpose, presenting the powerful effects of unmanaged diabetes, and the hope of reversal.” Filmed in early 2021 in Costa Rica, this season tells the story of five brave individuals living with diabetes as they work to positively transform their lifestyle choices. The show will have a world-class team of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, therapists, and celebrity guests focused on one common goal – to improve the health and well-being of each person living with diabetes. Dr. Asa adds, “Better health begins with better choices. ‘Reversed’ is about transforming the behavior of those fighting diabetes. Charles and I share a common mission and this is just the beginning. In my years of coaching and clinical experience, ‘Reversed’ is a powerful version of an inspirational office visit to those watching looking for hope and faith to believe that anything is possible for empowering your health.” Find out more about Dr. Asa Andrew here.

Tim Donnelly Show Debuts on ‘94.1 ESPN’ in Norfolk. Today (6/7), the “Tim Donnelly Show” launches on Max Media’s sports talk WVSP-FM, Norfolk, Virginia “94.1 ESPN” in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot. Donnelly also serves as the executive producer of the “Nick Cattles Show” that airs from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Donnelly says, “The opportunity to carve out my place in the 757 sports landscape is one that I do not take lightly. I understand that the market deserves a host that is dedicated and determined to create a fun, sports-centric escape for listeners each and every time they flip on the radio during their lunch break or hop in the car for a midday drive. I am unbelievably thankful for Keith Barton, Eddie Haskell, Nick Cattles, and Max Media for giving me the chance to bring the show to Hampton Roads.”

TALKERS 2021 a Sellout.  The 24th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important conference, the Talkers Convention, has reached its COVID-era attendee capacity. TALKERS 2021 will take place between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY on Friday, June 11. The event is a presentation of TALKERS in association with Hofstra’s multi-award-winning radio station, WRHU.

POWER PACKED Agenda Set for TALKERS 2021. Because of the timing, per the pandemic, this 24th annual meeting of talk media industry leaders has the potential to be one of the most important radio-centric conventions in recent history. More than 50 industry leaders from talk radio and cable news/talk TV will be speaking during a non-stop day of presentations and panel sessions. Check out the latest updated agenda by clicking here.

TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We are delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2016 event – to be able to actually present a live conference in an extremely COVID-19 compliant environment which Hofstra is equipped to provide. This convention will be smaller and more streamlined than the traditional TALKERS conventions – with lots of comfortable indoor and outdoor space to spread out, especially in the university’s gigantic state-of-the-art theater. The convention will boldly address key existential issues facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture.” The conference has been limited to a smaller number of attendees and exhibitors than usual and only open to members of the working media and closely associated industries. For the sake of safety, all attendees will be required to comply with COVID-19 regulations in effect at the time of the actual conference regarding social distancing, the wearing of masks, and providing proof of vaccination and/or testing, etc.

Travel and Hotel Information for TALKERS 2021. The full-service Long Island Marriott Uniondale is serving as the closest and best hotel for TALKERS 2021. To reserve rooms, please click here.  All New York area airports are a car ride away from the hotel and Hofstra:  JFK (18 miles), LaGuardia (24 miles), MacArthur (34 miles), Newark (47 miles).  Free and convenient parking information at Hofstra will be posted here shortly.

Convention Information: For further TALKERS 2021 information please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or email info@talkers.com.