Julie Talbott | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine

Tag: "Julie Talbott"

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

| November 30, 2022

MAJOR NEWS/TALK RADIO MILESTONE: “The Sean Hannity Show” Cracks 700 Affiliate Level.  History has been made today in the news/talk radio realm as Premiere Networks syndicated talk media superstar Sean Hannity reaches the 700th affiliate milestone. His program, “The Sean Hannity Show,” which celebrated its 20th anniversary in syndication last year, continues to be a leader in the talk radio format, attracting tens of millions of listeners and driving top ranks for stations nationwide. According to TALKERS data, Hannity is the most-listened-to talk radio host in the U.S. (TALKERS Estimetrix) as well as the most influential (TALKERS Heavy Hundred). For his work on the program, he has been honored with two NAB Marconi Awards for “Nationally Syndicated Personality of the Year” and was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2017. “We couldn’t be happier to celebrate another impressive milestone with Sean,” says Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks. “There are very few people who have the talent to command an audience of this size for over two decades, while continuing to grow and set new benchmarks. Sean is one of the best in the business and this achievement is a credit to his passion and commitment to talk radio.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison adds, “What’s so special about Sean Hannity is that he is not only the modern-day news/talk radio champion year after year, but he also holds that same distinction in the realm of cable news television as one of the pioneers and pillars of FOX News Channel. On top of that, he is a prolific best-selling author. This kind of multi-platform success is rare requiring an enormous amount of media skill and ability to engage on significantly separate levels of human wiring. Whether or not people in the talk media industries agree with his controversial political positions, we all owe Sean a debt of gratitude for raising the impact, prestige and influence of the American talk show business to both measurable and perceptual levels never before achieved by an individual performer and for his personal dedication to supporting the professional interests of each and every one of its players.”  For more information visit www.Hannity.com.

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights Release Fall 2022 Podcast Report. The ninth edition of the Podcast Download Report from Cumulus Media, in partnership with Signal Hill Insights, is released. Cumulus says the ninth edition of the study examines weekly podcast listeners and is part of its commitment to share insights and research findings with the podcast community. A key finding of the Fall 2022 report is that podcast listeners have no problem listening to podcasts with language or content that might be considered objectionable on other media. Cumulus EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Our new Podcast Download Report reveals that podcast listeners are comfortable with the content they choose. Since listeners make a more active decision when choosing their podcasts, brand safety may be less of a concern with podcast advertising than with other forms of media.” Other highlights from the report include: 1) Watchable podcasts have grown in popularity. Driven by podcast newcomers, more listeners prefer podcasts with video they can actively watch or minimize, to listen in the background; 2) Podcast video is strong but not necessary for all podcasts. 43% of weekly podcast listeners still prefer audio-only podcasts. Some podcast genres, like True Crime, do better with listeners who prefer audio only; and 3) Weekly podcast listeners co-listen with their children. Half of weekly podcast listeners with children in their household say they have ever listened to podcasts with their children. 20% of weekly podcast listeners with children say they listen to podcasts with their children frequently. You can download the full report here.

Audacy Names Aaron Roberts Operations Manager for Sacramento Market. Radio programming pro Aaron Roberts is promoted to operations manager for Audacy’s Sacramento cluster that includes sports talk KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320,” plus five music brands. In this role, Roberts will oversee content strategy, talent, operations and branding for the stations. He joined the cluster in August of this year as brand manager for “98 Rock” and “96.9 The Eagle,” and he will continue in those roles. Audacy Northern California RVP Stacey Kauffman says, “When we welcomed Aaron to our team in August, we were confident in his ability to position ‘98 Rock’ and ‘96.9 The Eagle’ for success. His experience and leadership style have done just that and we’re excited to have his oversight on our full suite of stations moving forward.”

SiriusXM Commissions Two New Satellites. Satellite broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it has commissioned Maxar Technologies to build and deliver two new geostationary communications satellites for SiriusXM. The SXM-11 and -12 satellite orders increase the total number of space craft in development for SiriusXM by Maxar to four, following the 2021 agreement for the construction of SXM-9 and -10. SiriusXM SVP of satellite and terrestrial engineering and operations Bridget Neville says, “This investment reaffirms our commitment to satellite content delivery systems and cutting-edge technology. SXM-11 and -12, along with SXM-9 and -10, will allow us to innovate and improve our service offerings for subscribers and will extend the continuous and reliable delivery of our audio entertainment content.”

 

Trump in ’24/Legal Battles, Oath Keeper Conviction, Respect for Marriage Act, Congressional Leadership Maneuvering/Georgia Runoff, China Protests, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy/Rail Strike, and World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/29). Former President Donald Trump’s announced run for the White House in 2024, his dinner meeting with Ye and White Nationalist Nick Fuentes, and his numerous legal battles; Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs are convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with January 6; the U.S. Senate passes the Respect for Marriage Act; the political maneuvering for leadership of the U.S. House in January and December’s runoff between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker; the protests against China’s zero-COVID strategies; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the political fight over U.S. aid to Ukraine; inflation, fears of a recession, the crypto plunge, and the deal to avert a nationwide rail strike; and the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, November 21, 2022

| November 21, 2022

Pending Business: Yellow Lights Ahead. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that predictions for this year’s holiday season are that consumers will be cautious and not spend as much as in recent seasons due to economic uncertainty. At the same time, retailers are less focused on creative marketing and are targeting consumers shopping based solely on the best price. With that in mind, Lapa offers some suggestions for radio sellers in this “yellow-light” economy. Read it here.

 

Monday Memo: Yes, Oldies. With many FMs already in all-Christmas mode, consultant Holland Cooke frets that “you’d think the Beach Boys only had one hit.” In this week’s column, HC notes how TV commercials and movies “continue to demonstrate the appeal of 60s and 70s music that AM/FM radio has relinquished to satellite radio and streams.” Read more here.

 

 

iHeartMedia Names Manny Munoz Midday Co-Host on News/Talk WIOD. Station personality Manny Munoz is named as co-host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show on iHeartMedia’s WIOD-AM, “NewsRadio 610 AM,” effective January 9, 2023. In this role, Munoz will be responsible for producing and hosting WIOD’s new program. iHeartMedia says, “The show will focus on day-to-day life in South Florida and discuss the biggest news stories of the day, politics, current events and pop culture in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. A nationwide search is underway for a part-time midday co-host for Munoz.” Munoz takes over for Brian Mudd, who will continue as morning host and program director at WJNO-AM, in West Palm Beach “NewsRadio 1290.” Munoz has been with “NewsRadio 610 WIOD” for over two decades. He has served as executive producer, fill-in host, sports reporter, and side kick for “South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo” for the past 14 years. Munoz also contributes to programming on WINZ-AM “FOX Sports 940.” iHeartMedia Miami vice president of news and AM programming Grace Blazer says, “I’m excited for Manny to excel with this new midday opportunity. The search is on for the perfect partner who will complement Manny and provide great live and local content with a digital finesse for our South Florida audience.” Munoz says, “Born in Hialeah, raised in Kendall and living in Southwest Broward for the last 27 years, I’m excited for the opportunity to have a show focused on the issues that affect South Floridians on a daily basis. I can’t wait to meet my new partner so we can inform, entertain, and bring a smile to WIOD’s loyal listeners and invite new ears to join the show, too.”

Leo Laporte to Retire from The Tech Guy Program; Rich DeMuro to Transition as New Program Host. The host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated show “The Tech Guy” – Leo Laporte – announced to his audience on Saturday (11/19), that he is retiring from radio at the end of the year. His last show will be January 1, 2023. As part of his announcement, Laporte introduced his replacement: Emmy Award-winning television personality and podcaster Rich DeMuro, host of the popular “Rich On Tech” segment on KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles and the weekly podcast of the same name. DeMuro, who has guest hosted for Laporte on numerous occasions, will be integrated into “The Tech Guy” through the end of the year, which will lead into the launch of “Rich On Tech,” a new three-hour weekend radio program debuting Saturday, January 7, 2023. Laporte says, “After 46 years in radio, 19 of them as ‘The Tech Guy,’ I thought it would be nice to see what Sunday brunch is like. Fortunately, I won’t be leaving our audience in the lurch. Rich is the perfect guy to help people get the most out of technology. I’ll raise a mimosa in your honor, Rich.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Leo has been a trusted source of tech news and information for listeners across the country, and we’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with him for more than 15 years. We wish him all the best!  We also look forward to this new and exciting chapter with Rich DeMuro, who has built a loyal following across TV, audio and social media. We’re confident audiences will enjoy his smart and fresh take on the world of technology.”

FOX News Digital Tops Competition in Multiplatform Minutes and Views for October. Based on data from Comscore’s October ratings, FOX News Digital finished the month as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in both multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views. FOX News Digital says that this marks 20 straight months as the number one news brand with multiplatform minutes. Looking at its performance versus CNN.com and NYTimes.com, FOX News Digital achieved more than 2.5 billion total multiplatform minutes compared to CNN.com’s 2.27 billion multiplatform minutes and NYTimes.com’s 1.3 billion multiplatform minutes. Looking at multiplatform views, FOX News Digital earned 1.5 billion compared to CNN.com’s 1.3 billion and NYTimes.com’s 1.28 billion. However, when it comes to multiplatform unique visitors (digital’s version of cume), CNN.com was the leader by a long shot with 111.8 million compared to NYTimes.com’s 80.8 million and FOX News Digital’s 80.1 million.

TALKERS News Notes. Columbus sports talk outlet WBNS-AM/FM recently celebrated its 100th year of service to the market. The stations – which are the flagship for Ohio State Buckeyes sports – are owned by Tegna. WBNS-AM was put on the air by the Wolfe family in 1922 and the calls stand for “Wolfe Banks News and Shoes” to promote the family’s various businesses. The Columbus Dispatch has a big piece on the anniversary and the stations’ history here…..FOX News Audio debuts season three of its FOX News Rewind series beginning today (11/21) with a six-part series focused on the financial crisis of 2008. Titled, “FOX News Rewind: Financial Crisis ‘08,” the podcast features financial experts who worked through the crisis, looking back on what transpired including Lehman Brothers bankruptcy examiner Anton Valukas, former governor of the Federal Reserve Randall Krozner, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Sheila Bair, among others. FOX Business Network host Charles Payne will front the podcast, while FOX News Media personalities including chief political anchor Bret Baier, SVP, anchor and managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto, “The Claman Countdown” anchor Liz Claman, “America Reports” co-anchor Sandra Smith and senior Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram will detail the ways the financial collapse was handled…..Boston public media firm GBH announces that Susan Goldberg is being named the next president and CEO of GBH. She is the first woman to hold this role since GBH was founded in 1951. From 2014 to 2022, Goldberg was editor-in-chief at National Geographic, taking on the additional role of editorial director in 2015. GBH board of trustees chair Ann Fudge says, “At a time when the media industry is changing at a rapid pace, Susan is a direct, focused, empathetic, and visionary leader who has the operational and editorial savvy to understand what resonates with our audiences, along with deep experience in executing a multi-platform transformation. She shares the core values of our organization – passionate about trusted journalism and its role in a free society, committed to building a diverse, people-driven organization, and an understanding of GBH’s role in the community. We are thrilled to welcome Susan to GBH.”

Trump in ’24, Special Counsel Appointed, Twitter, Midterms Aftermath, Deadly Colorado Shooting, Russia-Ukraine War, and the World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s running for president in 2024; Attorney General Merrick Garland appoints Jack Smith special counsel to handle investigation of Donald Trump; Elon Musk opens the way for Trump to return to Twitter combined with the social media platform’s rapidly changing structure under Musk’s ownership; the politics surrounding the results of the midterm elections; the shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs that left four dead and many more wounded; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and the World Cup begins in Qatar were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

| June 21, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Convention Explores News/Talk Programming. At the TALKERS 2022 convention held Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University, news/talk programming pros spoke on the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” panel, moderated by McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay (inset). Pictured above are (from l-r): Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming, Florida region, iHeartMedia; Greg Stocker, program director, WPHT, Philadelphia; Kevin DeLany, VP, news & talk programming, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP, spoken word format, Salem Media Group, Salem Radio Network/operations VP, New York region; and Dr. Asa Andrew, The Dr. Asa Health Network.

 

Complete TALKERS 2022 Session Videos Being Posted Today, TALKERS magazine begins posting complete videos of each session from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University. The first video posted is the Breakfast Session during which KOA, Denver talk host Mandy Connell was presented the “Woman of the Year” award and WRVA, Richmond, Virginia talk host Jeff Katz was honored with the “Humanitarian of the Year” award. See the video here.

 

Steven Cohen Named VP of Business Development and Partnerships at Crossover Media Group. Radio and podcasting pro Steven Cohen joins Crossover Media Group in the newly created position of vice president of business development and partnerships. For the past seven years, Cohen has served with Audacy-owned podcast creator Cadence13. In his new role with Crossover Media Group, he’ll be tasked with developing new business opportunities and partnerships. Crossover managing member Sue Freund states, “Steven is one of the most recognizable faces in podcasting from both the advertising and content sides. Given his background in both the audio and the digital podcast space, he brings a wealth of experience to the team which fits ideally with our content lineup. He’s relentlessly client-focused and he ‘gets’ the business of podcast advertising.”

 

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Celebrate One Year in Syndication. Today (6/21) marks the first anniversary of the national syndication of “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” by Premiere Networks. Premiere says the show debuted on more than 400 affiliates last summer, marking one of the biggest launches in talk radio history and is continuing to experience rapid growth and success across multiple platforms. It also says that program’s total AQH audience has increased 32% since the launch in the key demo of Adults 25-54. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “We’re so proud of the program Clay and Buck have developed together over the past year. We knew they had the talent, passion and enthusiasm to deliver something new and exciting to the talk radio format. We couldn’t be happier with the result and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.” Pictured above at a private, intimate party in New York City to celebrate the anniversary are (from l-r): Dan Metter, Premiere Networks EVP, director of personality sales; Clay Travis; Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott; Buck Sexton; and Alan Korowitz, president of National Platforms at iHeartMedia Photo: Cate Groubert for iHeartMedia.

 

WRVA’s Jeff Katz Does Election Day Hit on ‘FOX & Friends. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond, Virginia afternoon drive host Jeff Katz (left) on with Brian Kilmeade (right) from FOX News Channel’s “FOX and Friends” program broadcasting live from iconic Richmond diner McLean’s Restaurant. Katz, who tells TALKERS he “knows a thing or two about pancakes and coffee,” joined Kilmeade to talk Virginia Congressional primary races as well as efforts to roll back gas and grocery taxes in the Old Dominion.

 

KTAR, Phoenix Recognizes 100 Years of Service. Phoenix, Arizona news/talk station KTAR “News 92.3 FM” is celebrating 100 years as the “Trusted Voice of the Valley.” KTAR-AM began broadcasting the news/talk format that is now heard on KTAR-FM. Bonneville SVP and market manager Ryan Hatch comments, “As we reflect on a century of broadcasting for KTAR, we are honored to have such a tremendously talented team that continues to serve this community and innovate to keep our audiences connected and informed and deliver extraordinary results for our local business partners. While many voices have changed over the years, KTAR’s commitment to produce news that Arizonans can trust when it matters the most has never been stronger.”

 

Radio Personality Matt Pinfield Addresses Addiction in ‘Sound, Sobriety & Success’ Podcast. Radio & TV personality and rock journalist Matt Pinfield is partnering with Benztown + McVay Media Podcast Networks to host the new podcast “Sound, Sobriety & Success.” Pinfield says, “Living clean and sober is a beautiful gift for those of us who have struggled with addiction. Through this podcast, I am grateful to share the success stories of people in recovery to help others fight and understand their battles with alcoholism and addiction. I want to help people identify similarities in others’ stories to understand how they have successfully made their life changes. This podcast is a natural for me, as I have been transparent about my own struggles and journey in recovery and how it has completely changed my life for the better. I think this podcast is a great way to be of service through storytelling – sharing the faith, strength and hope that many of my contemporaries and friends have experienced.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Joining the programming at DuPage Radio’s WCKG-AM, Chicago is the Chicago Bears program “The Sick Podcast,” hosted by the NFL Network’s Adam Rank. The program will air each Friday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. WCKG sports director Jon Zaghloul says, “Adam’s passion for the Bears makes for such quality content. I’m proud to bring his show to where it belongs – WCKG, Chicago. Listeners should look forward to Adam’s opinions, guests, and commentary on all things Chicago Bears. This is a great move for our brand, and I’m excited to get things started.”…..Public media producer GBH announces the hiring of Sandra Lopez Burke as managing director of community and government relations. In this new role, Lopez Burke will build on GBH’s community engagement efforts, creating greater diversity among audiences, thought leaders, and supporters, while managing strategic partnerships to further the organization’s goals…..“The BOB & TOM Show” raised $12,000 on Friday (6/17) to help send Indianapolis-area children to summer camp through its Pop-Up Comedy For A Cause event at the historic Irving Theater in Indianapolis. The program featured performances by Willie Griswold, Jeff Oskay, Josh Arnold and Pat Godwin.

 

The Economy, Primaries/Donald Trump & the GOP, SCOTUS Term, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Israeli Government, and Heatwave/Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20). The high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and concerns about a recession; today’s primary races for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the Supreme Court prepares to end its term as the expected reversal of Roe v Wade looms and the safety of justices is debated; today’s continuation of the January 6 Committee’s hearings and speculation about prosecuting those – including former President Donald Trump – responsible for orchestrating the Capitol breach; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the world’s economy; Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett steps down and disbands the governing coalition, prompting new elections; and the heatwaves in the U.S. and abroad, combined with the drought facing the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, June 20, 2022

| June 20, 2022

Monday Memo: Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime. Although the season officially begins tomorrow, consultant Holland Cooke says. “People are already there emotionally.” And in this week’s column, HC suggests how stations can relate to listeners’ inflation-hampered circumstances. Read his column here.

 

Pending Business: Digital Audio Keeps Growing. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that recent data indicates listening to digital audio – especially via smart speakers – continues to grow and that leaves opportunity for the audio seller. “No matter how your digital platforms are packaged, the concept of ‘influencer’ is alive and well when a listener accesses that feed. And every listener who accesses that smart speaker audio feed adds impressions to your talent’s content.” Read more here.

 

Talk Radio Revenue Addressed at TALKERS 2022 Convention. The recent TALKERS 2022 convention held on Friday, June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island examined a number of issues facing talk media professionals, including selling spoken-word programming. Pictured above are four of the sales pros who appeared on the “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Noisy Digital World” panel, moderated by RAB president/CEO Erica Farber (inset). They are (from l-r): Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group, New York/RAB; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Chad Lopez, president, Red Apple Media; and Erik Hellum, COO, Townsquare Media, New York/RAB. Beginning tomorrow (6/21), TALKERS magazine will begin posting videos of the numerous convention sessions, one per day.

 

Talk Host Meets Senator. Pictured above is KNTH-AM, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer” morning host Sam Malone (right) having an animated discussion with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz R-TX (left) on the floor of the annual Texas State Republican Convention. Malone and Cruz sparred over the U.S. Supreme Court’s pending ruling on Roe v Wade that many expect to be handed down this week.

 

Urban One to Pay $25 Million for Emmis’ Indy Stations. According to the SEC filing by Urban One on Friday (6/17), the price that it is paying for Emmis Communications Indianapolis radio stations adult contemporary WYXB-FM, country WLHK-FM, news/talk WIBC-FM, translators W228CX and W298BB “The Fan 93.5FM and 107.5FM,” and Network Indiana is $25 million. The two companies announced the deal earlier in the week. As noted then, this move leaves Emmis effectively out of the radio business. It owns the licenses to WEPN-FM and WLIB-AM in New York but leases them. Emmis continues to operate with a focus on its sales and marketing businesses.

 

Cromwell Media Officially Launches ‘94.9 The Fan’ in Nashville. Emanating from Cromwell Media’s WBUZ-HD3 and translator W235BW, “94.9 The Fan” becomes Nashville’s newest sports talk radio station. Programming includes “The Dan Patrick Show” and “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” as well as “OutKick 360” with Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton and Paul Kuharsky, and sports betting content from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network. Cromwell Vp/market manager Dennis Gwiazdon says, “The type of exciting sports content offered on ‘94.9 The Fan’ is not only unique by design, it’s the perfect complement to the live and local sports talk programming offered on sister station ‘ESPN 102.5 The Game.’ We now offer a ‘one-stop shop’ for all types of sports fans and sports bettors who want only the best local and national sports talk along with live sports broadcasts that include the Nashville Predators, the Nashville Sounds, MTSU football and men’s basketball, NASCAR, the Music City Grand Prix and much more.”

 

‘Chicks On The Right’ Redouble Efforts to ‘Give Conservatism a Makeover.’ Talk media entrepreneurs Miriam Weaver and Amy Jo Clark – hosts of the Radio America syndicated podcast “Chicks On The Right” – are embarking on a makeover of their own, launching a new website (and subsequent newsletter), hiring an all-female staff, and committing to a national tour of events to meet their growing fanbase across the country. Radio America says, “This relaunch campaign comes in response to the Chicks’ exploding popularity and record engagement from fans. Their website boasts as many as 2 million views a month and they earn more than 3 million impressions per month on their popular daily program. Weaver says, “Amy Jo and I started ‘Chicks On The Right’ as a fun side project. We were two working women who felt like our views weren’t represented in national discourse and decided to speak up. We never imagined that more than a decade later, we would quit our jobs to commit to ‘Chicks On The Right’ full time due to the overwhelming support we’ve received from women (and men) across the country, especially this year.”

 

Station Owner Shawn Knight Dies in Paragliding Accident. The details are few at this time, but Edhat Santa Barbara is reporting that Knight Broadcasting owner Shawn Knight died on June 15 in a paragliding accident. Knight’s company operates three Southern California radio stations, including: news/talk KUHL, Santa Maria; country KRAZ-FM, Santa Ynez; and AC KSYV-FM, Solvang.

 

The Economy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, January 6 Hearings, Juneteenth Holiday, End of SCOTUS Term, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, and Columbia Elects Leftist Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The high price of gas & food, the sinking Dow & NASDAQ, and concerns about a recession; the primary races for the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the aftermath of the January 6 Committee hearings; today’s Juneteenth holiday recognizing the end of slavery in the U.S.; the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to close its term and the overturning of Roe v Wade is expected; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; the still-present COVID-19 virus and concerns about new subvariants; and Columbia elects leftist Gustavo Petro president were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

| December 16, 2021

Cumulus to Flip R&B WNBM-FM, New York to Talk as ‘Talk FM 103.9.’ Beginning on January 3, 2022, Cumulus Media’s R&B WNBM-FM, New York will flip to news/talk as WFAS-FM “Talk FM 103.9.” The station is being billed by Cumulus as “the only all-talk FM station in the New York metropolitan area.” The station will simulcast the programming on WFAS-AM “AM1230Digital” the first all-digital AM station to broadcast in the New York metropolitan area. Programming will be Westwood One’s lineup, including: “The Dan Bongino Show,” “The Ben Shapiro Show,” “The Chris Plante Show,” “The Michael Knowles Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,” and “The Jim Bohannon Show.” Also heard on the station will be “America in the Morning,” “First Light,” “Red Eye Radio,” “America this Week/Week in Review,” and “Real Estate Today.” Cumulus Media president of operations Dave Milner says, “Extending our marquee talk programming into New York City is a win-win for Cumulus. The addition of the WFAS-FM signal will allow us to reach even more listeners with the well-known talk shows they expect from us and also provide our advertising partners with premium opportunities in the number-one metro area.” Cumulus says that with the addition of WFAS-FM’s footprint, the signal will reach well beyond Westchester County, and into large portions of New York City (Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan), the north shore of Long Island, and northern New Jersey.

WGN-AM, Chicago and Bob Sirott Sign Extension. WGN-AM, Chicago morning drive personality Bob Sirott and the Nexstar Media news/talk station have agreed to a two-year contract extension to keep Sirott in the morning drive daypart. WGN Radio VP and general manager Mary Boyle says, “We are delighted to announce that Chicago’s Very Own Bob Sirott and his uniquely entertaining morning show will continue to be heard on Chicago’s Very Own WGN Radio 720. Bob has been an iconic voice in Chicago since 1973 and we’re fortunate to have his voice and talent as we head into our 100th year and beyond.”  Sirott says, “The station calls it work. I call it fun. It’s a forgotten commodity at most radio and TV stations today. But [Nexstar president, networks] Sean Compton, a true fan of radio, gets it. And who knows, someday I may turn into a morning person.”  The one change is that the show will start an hour later, airing from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.

WaPo: ‘Sports Junkies’ Celebrate 25 Years. A piece by Scott Allen in the Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Blog column profiles “The Sports Junkies” radio show as it celebrates 25 years on the air. The WJFK-FM, Washington morning show starring J.P. Flaim, John “Cakes” Auville, Eric “E.B.” Bickel and Jason “Lurch” Bishop began life as a cable access show on Bowie Community Television in August 1995. A year later, after a positive review from the Washington TimesDick Heller, “The Sports Junkies” got picked up for a weekend show on WJFK-FM. From there they transitioned to AM drive after Howard Stern’s move to satellite radio. Flaim recently authored a chronicle of the program titled, Still Barking. Flaim tells the Post, “The book is about the radio show and friendship and brotherhood, but none of it would’ve happened but for having an amazing audience. We have been very lucky to have people that have followed us and supported us for 25 years. Without them, we’re nothing.”

FOX News Channel Tops Competitors for 2021 in Nielsen’s Primetime and Total Day. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the highest rated cable news channel for 2021 (12/28/20-12/09/21) in both primetime and total day. In primetime, FOX News Channel averaged 2,365,000 viewers and 374,000 with A25-54 along with 233,000 in A18-49. Meanwhile, in total day, the network delivered 1,328,000 viewers and 223,000 in the younger 25-54 demo and 135,000 in A18-49. Also, according to data from Nielsen/MRI Fusion, this year, “more independents and democrats tuned into FNC than CNN while delivering the largest independent audience in cable news, making FNC’s audience the most politically diverse in cable news.” FNC holds 44% of the cable news audience in total day viewership and 41% of the audience with A25-54. In primetime, the network holds a 47% audience share in total viewers and 43% in the younger A25-54 demo. As a result, FNC increased its share of the cable news audience with A25-54 from 2020 to 2021. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “As we embark on our 20th year as the leader in cable news, the last six of which as number one in all of cable, I am incredibly proud of the unrivaled success we’ve had at FOX News Channel. Not only were we the only network to grow our audience share, but we did so while changing our lineup and transforming the entire late-night television landscape in the process, ensuring our continued momentum for many years to come.”

Newsmax Names Rich Grenell VP, Analyst. The former Acting Director of National Intelligence and U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is joining Newsmax Media as a national security contributor and executive for international partnerships. Newsmax says that Grenell, a former FOX News contributor, “will play a key role in offering security and international analysis for the network.” He’ll also serve as vice president for international development, helping the company’s foreign branding and content expansion. Newsmax currently licenses its brand and content in eight European nations. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Ric Grenell is a master of politics, media and government and we believe our viewers will gain great insight from his broad experience and public service.”

The ‘Coast to Coast AM Paranormal Podcast Network’ Launches. “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory and Premiere Networks are partnering for the launch of the Coast to Coast AM Paranormal Podcast Network.  This new project will focus on producing a slate of podcasts focused on the paranormal, supernatural, and unexplained. Co-produced by Noory and his long-time “Coast to Coast AM” senior producer Tom Danheiser, the network debuts with three new podcasts: “Shades of the Afterlife with Sandra Champlain,” “Strange Things with Joshua P. Warren,” and “Dark Becomes Light with Heidi Hollis.” Noory comments, “With these new programs, and more to come, we’re focused on producing the best content for paranormal fans. There’s so many facets of this entertaining and intriguing format, and we’re excited to kick off the network with three fan favorite guests from ‘Coast to Coast AM’ who are experts in their fields – Sandra Champlain, Joshua P. Warren and Heidi Hollis.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott adds, “We’re excited to partner with George to expand the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ brand with this new podcast network, creating a platform for new programing focused on the fascinating world of the paranormal. This new network will provide us with the opportunity to further engage and entertain George’s broad-reaching, worldwide audience.”

KBOI, Boise and USMC Collect Toys and Cash in 10-Day Drive. Pictured above is an unidentified staff member of Cumulus Media’s news/talk KBOI, Boise at the fifth “Idaho’s Largest Toy Drive” done in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps. Held November 26 through December 6, this was the longest toy drive of the past five years, collecting 38,822 toys and $36,213. KBOI program director Nate Shelman says, “With supply chain concerns and inflation being possible negative factors, we decided to extend this year’s efforts. The Treasure Valley residents came through in fine fashion to support the USMC and kids in the area.”

COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Economy/Supply Chain, Software Flaw, Build Back Better Negotiations, S.F. Mayor Actions/Urban Crime, and Extreme Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The spread of the Omicron variant, vaccines, and mandates; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack, the release of media personalities’ texts, and the contempt of Congress charge against former Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows; the high rate of inflation, the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates, and the supply chain breakdown; a pervasive software flaw that’s giving foreign hackers an entrance into crucial systems; the negotiations between the Biden administration and Senator Joe Manchin over the Build Back Better plan; San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s promise of strong actions to combat crime issues and urban crime spikes in other cities; and the aftermath of the Kentucky and Illinois tornadoes and the threat of more violent weather were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

| December 15, 2021

Don Martin Elevated to Executive Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Sports. Programmer Don Martin is named executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Sports. Martin, who’s been with iHeartMedia for the past 26 years, previously served the company as senior vice president of programming for FOX Sports Radio and SVP of sports talk KLAC-AM, Los Angeles. In his new role, Martin will lead sports radio operations and oversee recruiting for on-air talent, program directors, and board operators for the iHeartMedia Markets Group and Premiere Networks. In addition, Martin will identify opportunities to expand iHeartMedia Sports partnerships – including leagues, teams, podcasting and broadcast. He will continue to oversee the programming, promotions, operations and sales for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Chargers, UCLA and others. Martin will also continue his operational, programming and sales responsibilities for KLAC-AM, Los Angeles. Kevin LeGrett, president of iHeartMedia Sports and iHeartMedia Los Angeles, says, “The iHeartMedia Sports Network would not be what it is today without Don’s years of experience and innovation. He is the perfect choice to lead our ever-expanding network, bringing us the most exciting new partnerships and team members.” Martin comments, “In life, you are only as good as the family around you. I have had the privilege of working with three of the most incredible families in the business – from KOA in Denver to AM 570 and FOX Sports Radio in LA, and now the family just gets bigger! Thank you, Greg Ashlock, Kevin LeGrett, Julie Talbott, and Tom Poleman for your belief and trust in me. I am a blessed man!”

Markley, van Camp & Robbins Takes Over Late Mornings on KDWN, Las Vegas. The nationally syndicated “Markely, van Camp & Robbins” show – hosted by Jamie Markley, David van Camp, and Scott Robbins – is now heard in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart on Beasley Media Group’s KDWN-AM/K268CS, Las Vegas. The Compass Media Networks program is currently heard on 120 affiliate stations. KDWN program director Steve Hoffman says, “‘Markley, van Camp & Robbins’ feels like the next generation of talk radio with the right combination of political talk, attitude and fun for KDWN.” Markley, van Camp and Robbins comment, “Thanks to Steve and the whole team at KDWN! It’s a blessing to connect with people throughout the country who not only want to know what’s going on but love common sense and to laugh at the absurd. That’s our goal every day.”

Cumulus News/Talk KMAJ-AM, Topeka Adds FM Translator. Topeka, Kansas news/talk KMAJ-AM adds an FM translator to its signal. The Cumulus Media station is now heard on K228FW at 93.5 FM in addition to its 1440 AM signal. Cumulus says the FM signal will cover all of Topeka, as well as all of Shawnee County. With the addition of the translator, the station rebrands as “The Big Talker KMAJ-AM/FM” and unveils its new logo. Cumulus Topeka VP and market manager Nic Merenda says, “KMAJ has been a part of the Topeka radio landscape for over 30 years. To be able to offer our stellar lineup of news, talk, and sports on a stronger, crystal-clear FM signal is an exciting new chapter in this station’s legendary history.” Cumulus Topeka operations manager Amber Lee adds, “Expanding the reach of ‘The Big Talker’ is a great benefit – especially to the listeners of our high school sports coverage. Mike Manns and his sports broadcast team are the voices of an entire community!”

Stapleford Promoted to Vice President at Magnum and Intrepid Broadcasting. Radio management pro Diana Stapleford is promoted from her general manager role to vice president of corporate operations for Magnum Broadcasting and Intrepid Broadcasting. For 16 years, Stapleford led the State College, Pennsylvania station group that includes news/talk WBLF and three music brands which was recently sold to Schlesinger Communications. The company says, “Sixteen years ago, Magnum Broadcasting entered the State College, PA market with the purchase of WUBZ-FM and WPHB-AM. We were continually told at that time that the key to our success was to bring Diana aboard as general manager and that proved to be true. We were fortunate to have Diana join the company then and her incredible talents, skills and dedication will ensure that Magnum Broadcasting realizes great success with her directing our operations and personnel across our five radio stations and two companies. The recognition this promotion brings and the appreciation it shows is thoroughly deserved by Diana. Meanwhile, Magnum Broadcasting and Intrepid Broadcasting have aligned themselves with top broadcast professionals as we position ourselves to excel in a very challenging and ever-changing industry and environment.” Magnum Broadcasting owns and operates WEEO-FM, Chambersburg, PA/Hagerstown, MD “Newstalk 103.7,” news/talk duo WKEZ-FM, Tavernier, Florida and WPIK-FM Summerland Key, Florida “Keystalk,” and several music brands in Florida and New York.

FOX News Digital Finishes Tops in Several Metrics in November 2021. According to data from Comscore for the November 2021 period among news brands in the news competitive set, FOX News Digital’s FOXNews.com was first in multiplatform minutes and multiplatform views, reaching close to 1.6 billion multiplatform views and over 2.9 billion multiplatform minutes. FOXNews.com surpassed CNN’s CNN.com in multiplatform minutes for the ninth consecutive month. FOXNews.com also marks five straight months as number one in multiplatform views. It should be noted that both FOXNews.com and CNN.com both saw reduced Total Minutes, Total Views, and Unique Visitors this year compared to the election month of November 2020. Also, CNN.com handily topped FOXNews.com in the multiplatform unique visitors metric by a margin of 140.27 million to 90.23 million.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the update on former WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago managing editor Julie Mann, who exited the Audacy all-news station last week. Mann is now the public information officer for Kane County, Illinois. She tells Feder, “I saw it as an opportunity to continue working in the field of communications but in a whole new way.”…..Podcast publisher PodcastOne announces that it has signed deals to keep top performing and fan favorite podcasts “LADYGANG,” “Gals on the Go,” and “Rob Has a Podcast” with PodcastOne for the foreseeable future. LADYGANG’s Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, and Becca Tobin comment, “The team at PodcastOne understands ‘LADYGANG’ exponentially and continues to bring us exciting partnerships with the brands that we love. Our relationship isn’t just about impressions, downloads and contracts – it is about their dedicated team of producers and salespeople working hand-in-hand with us on every single episode so that we can overdeliver on our promises to our brand partners, while remaining authentic, honest and vulnerable with our listeners. We had incredibly successful and lucrative specialty projects with brands like European Wax Center, Obe Fitness, and Hyundai – and all three were so happy with the outcome that they are all hanging with the gang again in 2022. Our listeners are happy. Our brands are happy. We are happy and so excited for the future.”…..Saga Communications announces that its board of directors is declaring a quarterly cash dividend of $0.16 per share and a special cash dividend of $0.50 per share. The dividend will be paid on January 14, 2022, to shareholders of record on December 27, 2021. The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the quarterly and special dividends will be approximately $4 million. The quarterly and special cash dividends will be funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet. Including this dividend, the company will have paid over $77 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012.

Hilton Howell to Be Honored with BFoA’s Golden Mike Award. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Hilton H. Howell, Jr., chairman of the board and CEO of Gray Television and Atlantic American Corporation, is the recipient of the 2022 Golden Mike Award. The award will be presented during a black-tie gala on Monday, March 14, 2022, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. This year’s event marks the return of the Foundation’s biggest fundraiser, which did not take place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadcasters Foundation chairman Scott Herman says, “It’s been a challenging year-and-a-half, and we are thrilled to honor Hilton and once again present the Golden Mike Award live and in-person. Looking ahead, our goal remains to provide financial aid for every broadcaster who qualifies.” The Broadcasters Foundation of America Golden Mike Award dinner attracts a who’s who of broadcast media executives and celebrities. The presenters and performers for this year’s event will be announced shortly. Previous recipients include Dave Lougee, Perry Sook, Emily Barr, David Barrett, Michael Bloomberg, Bob Pittman, Gordon Smith, Jeff Smulyan, and more. For information, or to reserve a seat or table, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or info@thebfoa.org.

COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Biden Polls/Build Back Better Plan, Debt Limit, China and Russia vs the West, and Fed to Raise Interest Rates Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/14). The fast spread of the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and Pfizer’s COVID pill; the House investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Donald Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows held in contempt of Congress, texts of Trump staffers and media figures released; Congress passes legislation to raise the debt limit; Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping meeting and their warning against “Western aggression”; and the Fed’s plans to gradually raise interest rates were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.