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Monday, February 7, 2022

| February 7, 2022

Monday Memo: But Wait, There’s More! “Are you making these six common on-air mistakes?” consultant Holland Cooke asks in this week’s follow-up to last week’s column. HC calls these “simple techniques that make your show more inviting, user-friendly, and memorable.” Read more here.

 

Pending Business: “F” is for Frequency. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “The more social media I consume, the more I see the same ads over and over. Many advertisers do not bother changing creative. Others just update slightly. But the repetition is there, every day, non-stop.” He says local direct sellers must continue to show how a radio campaign can deliver targeted reach AND frequency more effectively than any other medium. Radio advertising is adaptable in ways other advertising is not. “With the right amount of repetition and updated copy with a solid call to action” radio is more effective than any other medium. Read his column here.

iHeartMedia Names Bloomdaddy Afternoon Host on WTAM, Cleveland. Three months after the passing of Cleveland talk radio icon Mike Trivisonno, iHeartMedia announces that David Blomquist, a.k.a. Bloomdaddy, is the new afternoon drive talk host on heritage news/talk outlet “Newsradio WTAM 1100, The Big One.” Bloomdaddy has been the morning show host at the company’s WWVA, West Virginia, for the past 17 years. The program was syndicated regionally to stations in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, and Parkersburg, West Virginia.  Bloomdaddy will now call WTAM 1100 his home. iHeartMedia says the newly created Cleveland-centric, issues-based afternoon show will feature broadcasting veteran Carmen Angelo, news reports from Julie Holiday, and regularly scheduled traffic reports from Olivia Muzica. iHeartMedia Cleveland president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We’re thrilled to introduce Bloomdaddy to WTAM and the city of Cleveland. His passion for sports, his quest for information, and his commonsense approach to talk radio is the perfect combination for afternoon drive on the legendary WTAM.” Bloomdaddy comments, “I’m thrilled to launch this new show on a station that means so much to Cleveland. From the minute I turned the mic on at WTAM, it’s felt like home.  I look forward to having impactful conversations with my new radio family and learning even more about this incredible city.”

Bryan Suits Named Morning Host at KTTH, Seattle. Military veteran and talk radio personality Bryan Suits is back on the radio as morning host at Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH-AM, Seattle. Suits was an evening host on sister talk outlet KIRO-FM from 1999 through 2002. He’s also hosted at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and KFI, Los Angeles. He hosts a podcast and is a frequent guest on FOX Business. Suits says, “When we moved back to Western Washington, the last thing on my mind was radio. After filling in on KTTH mornings, I realized that I was born to do this. This is where I started and found my voice. Someone has to reflect what the sensible people are thinking and thankfully KTTH is doing that. I’m humbled and grateful to be part of the team that tells the truth every day.” Bonneville SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “KTTH is the region’s leading conservative talk station because of our passionate, local hosts. Bryan Suits makes us even stronger. As we head into the midterm elections, KTTH is poised to make some waves.”

Erin Vermeulen Promoted to Evening News Anchor on WWJ, Detroit. Radio news pro Erin Vermeulen is being promoted to evening news anchor at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “NewsRadio 950.” She’d been serving the station as writer and editor for the station. WWJ notes that her career has taken her to the Cairo, Dubai, Oman and South Africa before returning to the United States and working at KFI, Los Angeles as a member of “The Bill Handel Morning Show” in 2015. Vermeulen says, “I am really excited to get back to my radio roots as a news presenter at one of the most iconic stations in the country. I am also very grateful to work with such talented and extraordinary people at WWJ. It is great to be back on the airwaves in my hometown, where I started my career more than 20 years ago.” Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “Erin is well connected to the community and has a number of great ideas to keep listeners informed about the top stories and events happening across metro Detroit, the state and the country. We are excited to promote Erin to anchor and look forward to hearing her voice on WWJ.”

WGY, Albany to Celebrate 100th Anniversary with Special Broadcast and Podcast. Albany AM WGY will celebrate its 100th anniversary on air on February 20 with a number of special presentations, including a live celebration at 1:00 pm that day. On January 31, iHeartMedia began presenting the podcast series, “Wireless: 100 Years of WGY.” The program is hosted by WGY news anchor Mike Patrick and features intimate and candid interviews with many familiar WGY voices, with new episodes released weekly. On February 20, many past and present hosts, news anchors and members of New York’s Capital Region will take part in the special live event. A retelling of radio’s first radio drama, “The Wolf,” will also be presented live from the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany where WGY has a history of broadcasting from going back to 1923. The event at the Kenmore begins at 3:00 pm with a lecture from Chris Hunter from the Museum of Innovation and Science. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “It’s an honor and huge responsibility to lead an institution of innovation and community service such as WGY into its next 100 years. We’re looking forward to highlighting our first 100 years and commemorating important events in history throughout 2022.” iHeartMedia Albany SVP of programming John Cooper adds, “As a longtime Capital Region resident, WGY has had an impact on my life since the early 60s. Starting as a listener, it has been an honor and privilege to have been able to work directly with some of the great news/talk programmers and personalities over my last 22 years. 100 years of service to this community is an amazing milestone. WGY is the go-to station when you need to know.”

‘The Next Great Podcast’ Winner Named. The winner of the second annual “The Next Great Podcast” contest from iHeartMedia and Dan Patrick, in partnership with Tongal, is, “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South,” from Dr. Lindsay Byron. Byron is a former English professor, Southern historian and longtime stripper turned full-time artist, storyteller and community leader. “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South” takes listeners back in time to 1977 when a high-profile prostitution ring involving 11 businesses in three states was the most-talked-about headline of the day. The podcast combs through the dusty archives of the Danville Register & Bee, which were carefully clipped and preserved by Lindsay’s aunt’s mama, who held a familial connection to this web of crime. The program shares unforgettable colorful quotes from local reporters and unbelievable but true dramatic scenes pulled straight from the police reports. It’s all brought to life by Byron and presented alongside present-day interviews with individuals from the older Southern generation, who remember the madness as it unfolded in real time.

TALKERS News Notes. Clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrated her 25th anniversary show with her February 5 episode of “The Rational Basis of Happiness.” Dr. Kenner tells TALKERS she enjoys the unique connection that only radio provides and is looking forward to her 26th year on air of her syndicated show. “The Rational Basis of Happiness” is distributed via Talk Media Network…..Sports talk personality Kevin Dunn leaves Genuine Austin Radio’s “The Horn” (KTXX-FM/KTAE-AM/W270CO) in Austin for a full-time position outside the radio business and Mike Hardge joins the station to co-host afternoons with incumbent host Rod Babers.

COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, January 6 Investigation, Electoral Count Act, Spotify-Joe Rogan Controversy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and the Canadian truckers’ protests paralyzing Ottawa; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former Vice President Mike Pence’s deviation from Donald Trump’s stance on the day’s events; the re-writing of the Electoral Count Act led by Senators Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski; the diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military build-up; Spotify supports Joe Rogan but deletes numerous episodes of his podcast after racially tinged comments contained within them resurface; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the politics and COVID issues surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

| November 12, 2020

WGY, Albany’s Chuck Custer to Retire Next Month. Albany radio personality Chuck Custer is retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGY-AM/FM on December 18. He currently hosts the morning drive program with Kelly Lynch. Before taking on that role in 2011, he served as news anchor on Don Weeks’ radio show. Custer also previously served as news director and program director for “News Radio 810 & 103.1.” Custer began his WGY career as evening news anchor in 1984. iHeartMedia Albany SVP and market manager John Cooper says, “For over 36 years, Chuck Custer has been synonymous with WGY. From his time as the leader of the award-winning WGY news department, his outstanding work with ‘Don Weeks in the Mornings’, his current co-host position with Kelly Lynch, and most importantly all the time he’s contributed to the people of the Capital District. Chuck has been the consummate professional. He’s a great broadcaster who will long be remembered.” Custer comments, “It was a lifelong dream to work at WGY, a powerful, influential station with a great history and heritage. I’ve been very fortunate to have such a great run here. I’ve worked with many tremendous and talented people, made many friends, and I have had an opportunity to take on many different challenges. For 36-plus-years, I’ve loved what I was doing and loved coming to work. Not many people can say that.”

Urban One Posts Third Quarter Net Revenue Decrease of 17.2%. Reporting results from the third quarter of 2020, Urban One, Inc says net revenue was approximately $91.9 million, a decrease of 17.2% from the same period in 2019. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $44.2 million, an increase of 1.3% from the same period in 2019. Urban One posted a net loss of approximately $12.8 million in Q3 of 2020 compared to a net income of approximately $5.4 million for the same period in 2019. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “During the third quarter, we saw continued sequential improvements in radio revenues: compared to Q2 2020, our radio segment revenues were up 54.3%. This improvement will continue into fourth quarter where same station radio division revenues are currently pacing down only mid-single digits compared to Q4 2019, including political advertising. Most remarkably, despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to grow our Q3 2020 Adjusted EBITDA by 2.3% compared to Q3 2019 and by 61.3% compared to Q2 2020. This was largely driven by impressive performance in our TV, Digital and Reach Media divisions, all of which grew their Adjusted EBITDA by double digit percentages, or better, year-over-year. During this 2020 election cycle we have seen record-breaking political advertising revenues, in excess of $20 million across our entire platform of radio, digital and TV assets. I believe this reflects the increasing recognition of the importance of our audience, and the trusted platform we provide our clients to reach Black America… Our cash and liquidity position remains robust, with approximately $102.2 million of cash on hand at September 30. We received strong support from lenders for our recent bond exchange offer, which extends the maturity of both our secured notes and unsecured term loan, thereby giving the Company more flexibility to opportunistically access capital markets during the course of 2021. As part of the exchange agreement we will also reduce our outstanding debt by $25 million.”

KKAT, Salt Lake City Welcomes Dave Ramsey. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is joining the program schedule at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKAT-AM, Salt Lake City in the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot, effective November 16. Cumulus Salt Lake City VP and market manager Patrick Reedy says, “Now, more than ever, Dave Ramsey’s insights and solutions for life and money bring clarity and straight talk to improving listeners’ financial lives. We are incredibly excited to welcome ‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ to the powerful 860AM lineup.” KKAT program director Chris Hoffman adds, “I’ve personally seen the power of Dave’s message change people’s lives. I can’t wait for our audience to experience it for themselves. I look forward to hearing their debt-free screams!”

KYW, Philadelphia Announces New On-Air Lineup. The retirement of morning drive co-anchor Brandon Brooks sets in motion a series of changes at Entercom’s all-news outlet KYW, Philadelphia that take effect November 23. Current afternoon drive co-anchor Ian Bush is moving to mornings to serve as co-anchor alongside Carol MacKenzie. Jay Scott Smith rises from his part-time anchor position to co-anchor afternoons with co-anchor Michelle Durham. Also, fill-in anchor Denise Nakano is named midday anchor. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “As KYW Newsradio broadens its reach on crystal-clear 103.9 FM, we are happy to expand the roles of these outstanding journalists. Ian, Jay, and Denise bring invaluable experience and insight that will help Philadelphia’s most-trusted news team serve our region at this critical time and beyond.” Bush, Smith, and Nakano will all contribute to KYW Newsradio’s growing array of digital offerings, including original podcasts.

Jim Bohannon Goes Back to College. Pictured above on the campus of Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia is Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Jim Bohannon (second from right) along with a group of students from the school’s student-run radio station “Z87.7.” Bohannon visited the school to conduct a radio seminar and speak to individual audio production classes about his industry experience as a talk show host. Bohannon also appeared as a guest on the station’s “1:35” program. Pictured with Bohannon are (from l-r) students Christopher Barker, Cameron Verona,Savannah Richards, Zach Swindell, Brett Loftis, Bohannon, and faculty member Dale Van Cantfort.

Harrison Podcast Presents a Special Salute to the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Taking a brief departure from its usual format of spotlighting a single individual, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is the subject of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison states, “This past week’s election and its aftermath continued the drama, intensity and anxiety that have made 2020 one of the most challenging years in modern history – and thus, one of the most difficult in the lifetimes of those of us born after World War II. The economic crisis sparked by COVID-19 has certainly added to the problems facing millions of people in our country who have either lost their jobs or their businesses and many more who are living with the uncertainty of whether they will still have their jobs and businesses in 2021.” Harrison continues, “All that aside, the radio industry has been hard hit by economic challenges for years leading up to 2020 – through good times and bad – due to a variety of reasons… some unavoidable and some, unfortunately, of its own making… none of which can be blamed on its day-to-day working people. Escalating cutbacks in the radio business are nothing new in the 21st century. The COVID-19 era has only made difficult matters even worse. Firings have primarily targeted the working folks in the trenches, including engineers, producers, programmers, news reporters, DJs, talk show hosts, salespeople, programmers, and mid-level managers.” Harrison adds, “It is important to note radio is always on the front lines of supporting charities and initiatives that rush to the aid of victims suffering from just about every hardship inflicted by disease, natural disasters, and economic calamity. But the only humanitarian organization that I know of that for decades has consistently been standing up for broadcasters facing personal disasters is the Broadcasters Foundation of America.” The Broadcasters Foundation of America derives most, if not all, of its revenues from individuals and companies, large and small, in the radio and television industries creating a process by which broadcasters can support broadcasters in their time of need. 2020 has proven to be a difficult year for the organization due to the economic impact of the corona virus upon its individual donors – and especially with COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of many of the organization’s annual fund-raising events. Harrison concludes, “Keeping in mind that a significant portion of this podcast’s audience are members of the professional broadcasting community, and to personally take a momentary break from the stresses of today’s political turmoil, this installment of our podcast will diverge from its usual path and be devoted to raising awareness of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.” The podcast’s guests this week are WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley, Broadcasters Foundation of America president Jim Thompson and Foundation board member and longtime host of TV’s “Inside Edition,” Deborah Norville. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump Refuses to Concede/Biden Transition Process, Georgia Recount/Senate Runoff Elections, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Vaccine, Trump Media Ambitions, Veterans Day, and Tropical Storm Eta to Hit Florida Again Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/11). The refusal on the part of Donald Trump and a fair number of Republican members of Congress to admit that Joe Biden won the election and the transition process to President-Elect Biden; the state of Georgia’s intent to do a hand recount of the ballots and the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, projections for winter cases, and Pfizer’s statement its vaccine appears to be 90% effective; speculation about Donald Trump’s post-White House media ambitions; the Veterans Day holiday; and Tropical Storm Eta to hit Florida again 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. Condolences to the family and friends of classic rock WIMZ-FM, Knoxville afternoon drive personality Billy Kidd, a.k.a. William Winningham, who died unexpectedly yesterday (11/11). No details of his passing are available but the station posted the following to its website: “It is with the very heaviest of hearts that we here at 103.5 WIMZ bring you the terrible news of the passing of our friend and colleague, William Winningham, also lovingly known as Billy Kidd. We know you have many questions, as do we. Just remember how much Billy loved this community and the people who made it so great! We will be posting and airing tributes to Billy in the days to follow. We appreciate the many friends and listeners who have expressed their concern and love for Billy. Thank you all from the depths of our hearts. We love you Billy!”…..Alpha Media and Superadio, LLC announce an affiliation agreement to bring the “Ebro in the Morning with Laura Stylez and Rosenberg” to its hip hop-formatted stations in Portland, Oregon; San Antonio; and Amarillo, Texas. Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker says, “I admire and appreciate the talent and perspectives of Ebro, Laura, and Rosenberg and I’m proud of Alpha for continuing to be trendsetters in the media space by becoming the flagship affiliate. The radio industry has become too reliant on phony phone calls and the assumption that listeners want characters over authenticity. ‘Ebro in the Morning’ understands that and will be a wonderful addition to our portfolio of stations, and I look forward to working closely with them.”…..Team Jubal Productions announces its formation to independently launch “The Jubal Show” in national syndication. The program debuts today on iHeartMedia stations KXJM-FM, Portland “JAM’N 107.5”; KSLZ-FM, St. Louis “Z107.7” and WMKS-FM, Greensboro “100.3 KISS FM.” Team Jubal Productions is led by Alex Fresh, Jubal Fresh and Eric Weiss. Craig Whetstine is handling affiliate sales for the show.