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Thursday, April 7, 2022

| April 7, 2022

‘The Jimmy Malone Show’ to Debut on WTAM, Cleveland. Morning drive radio host Jimmy Malone – whose eponymous program airs on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WARF-AM “FOX Sports 1350 AM The Gambler” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am begins hosting a daily one-hour show on sister news/talk WTAM “The Big One” that will air from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on April 12. The show takes the place of the one-hour “Geraldo in Cleveland” program that had been airing in the slot for the past four years. iHeartMedia says Malone will host conversations with politicians, community and business leaders, journalists and more, all with the goal of making a difference in Northeast Ohio. In addition, Malone will feature fun and entertaining segments including his signature feature, “Knuckleheads In The News.” The program will feature veteran producer Rob Rozycki and contributor Cache Roberts. iHeartMedia Cleveland SVP of programming Keith Kennedy says, “We’re thrilled to launch ‘The Jimmy Malone Show’ on WTAM. Jimmy is a passionate talk show host, a generous philanthropist, and lover of all things Cleveland. We are thrilled to add yet another powerful local voice to a station that means so much to the community.” Malone was a co-host on WMJI-FM, Cleveland’s morning show from 1991 through 2021 when he left that show to launch his WARF program. He says, “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to connect with the WTAM audience. WTAM is the news and information leader in the market, and it’s humbling to have the opportunity to join such a legendary radio station. I simply can’t wait to get started.”

 

Bruce St. James Exits WLS-AM, Chicago. According to a story by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM and morning drive host Bruce St. James have parted company after 16 months. St. James, who’s worked much of his career in Arizona, took over the morning program from Erich Mancow Muller. St. James posted the following to Facebook: “Arizona, I’m coming home. Chicago is an amazing city and I truly enjoy it here (even with the snow!), but for a variety of reasons I need to be back in the Valley.” For now, Ramblin’ Ray Stevens will host mornings along with contributor Judy Pielach until the company names a permanent morning program for the station.

 

Alex Jones Sits for Deposition in Sandy Hook Suit. Several days after Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk media figure Alex Jones was in contempt of court for failing to sit for depositions in the complaints against him by several families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook School shooting, Jones sat for depositions on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, according to a report by NBC News. The story indicates that Jones, who was being fined $25,000 per day for each day not sitting, paid a fine of $75,000 prior to the deposition. Jones’ attorney said that Jones didn’t sit because he was under doctor’s orders to stay home and avoid stress, but the attorney also admitted that Jones left his home to record his programs. This week’s depositions were for a looming trial that will determine how much Jones pays the eight families of victims suing him. Last year, Jones was found guilty of defamation when the families of the victims were harassed and threatened after Jones’ broadcasts accused them of being “crisis actors” even though he knew the 2012 massacre was real.

 

iHeartMedia and KFI, Los Angeles Launch Season 2 of ‘Unsolved with Steve Gregory.’ The second season of the weekly, true crime podcast “Unsolved with Steve Gregory” launches on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles and on the iHeartRadio platform. The series – hosted by KFI national correspondent Steve Gregory (pictured here) – features cold cases, challenging cases, missing persons, and high-profile criminals. iHeartMedia says it is one of the most successful in Los Angeles Radio, with more 59,000 podcast downloads in the first month. It also airs on KFI Saturdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. It is produced by Gregory, Jacob Gonzalez and digital producer Andro Mammo. In season one, Gregory explored cases like the unsolved murder of Mark Leonard, the father of NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard. In addition, Gregory also observed the 75th Anniversary of the Black Dahlia, the most notorious unsolved case in the history of the LAPD. In season two, Gregory will focus on the case of a missing man who owned his own video music production company and was known for working with members of both the Crips and the Bloods – two of the most well-known gangs in the United States. The man also grew up in Compton with childhood friends and hip-hop artists Kendrick Lamar and Jayceon Taylor, a.k.a. The Game. Season two will also explore the science of forensics, including a medical examiner, a cybercrimes detective, and a drone pilot who searches for mass graves.

 

SportsMap Radio Network to Launch ‘Journey Through Life and Sports.’ A new program is launching on April 22 at 7:00 pm ET on the SportsMap Radio Network titled, “Journey Through Life and Sports.” SportsMap says the show is a roundtable interview show, “taking listeners on journeys through the lives of sports and entertainment professionals. The program will focus on the role that sports has had in building the legacies and the opportunities to inspire future generations.” The show is hosted by multi Emmy award-winning sports anchor and broadcast journalist Scott Murray; award-winning sportswriter (and the first female Dallas Cowboys beat writer) Marjorie Herrera Lewis; and CEO, inspirational speaker, author, and philanthropist Marnie Schneider. The three say, “We’re looking forward to sitting at the table with our well-known guests, sharing their wisdom with our listeners, as we engage in conversation that takes us back in time with sports favorites. Why did a Hall of Famer take up football? Why did a tennis player defect from her country to build a career and life in the U.S.? We anticipate listening to the unforgettable stories of iconic athletes as they share their great legacies with moments our listeners have likely never heard before.” Pictured here is the program’s first guest, Cowboys great Drew Pearson (left) with (from l-r) Lewis, Schneider, and Murray.

 

CORRECTION: In the April 5 edition of TALKERS, we published a story about The Spectator Washington editor Amber Athey being fired from WMAL-FM, Washington for a tweet critical of Vice President Kalama Harris that Cumulus said violated its social media policy. In our story, we wrote that Athey said Harris’ brown pant suit worn during the State of the Union Address made her look like a Hershey chocolate bar. In truth, Athey wrote that others made the comparison. Athey wrote that Harris “looks like a UPS employee.” TALKERS regrets the error.

 

TALKERS News Notes. The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, are proclaiming April 10, 2022, as WBT Day in recognition of News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT’s 100th anniversary. Also, various Charlotte organizations will light the Charlotte skyline that night in the station’s colors of red, white and “WBT Blue.” As the third radio station officially licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the first in the Southeast, WBT has served the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and listeners “From Canada to Cuba” since April 10, 1922. WBT program director Mike Schaefer says, “Quite simply, we are humbled and honored. Recognition by the city and county of this unique milestone, and their proclamations of WBT Day means everything to the 25 team members of WBT, and to the over 100 hard-working members of our extended Radio One Charlotte family.”…..FOX Nation is debuting a new series hosted by award-winning actor, producer and director Kelsey Grammer titled, “Kelsey Grammer’s Historic Battles for America” on May 1. The series will take viewers on an inside look at eight key battles that left an indelible mark on this nation, spanning the American Revolution, the Texas Revolution, the Civil War, and the American Indian Wars. FOX Nation president Jason Klarman says, “Kelsey is a legend in the entertainment industry, and we are proud to bring his talents to our platform with ‘Kelsey Grammer’s Historic Battles for America.’ His affinity for our nation’s history and charismatic delivery will provide FOX Nation subscribers with an entertaining yet educational viewing experience they can’t get anywhere else.”…..Paul Martin is named chief of development for Hope Media Group. Currently serving as senior partner at DickersonBakker, Martin brings decades of experience in donor development and business development in both radio and digital media. WAY Media and Hope Media Group announced earlier this year their intent to merge into one media organization. Company CEO Joe Paulo says, “Paul possesses the perfect mix of leadership, experience, and knowledge we’ve been looking for to lead the revenue-generating strategies for the newly merged Hope Media Group. His heart for God and passion for why we exist is obvious, and contagious. Our bright future just got even brighter with Paul joining our leadership team, and I could not be more excited.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Gas Prices/Inflation, Hunter Biden Investigation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Jackson Confirmation, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, Elon Musk & Twitter, Severe Southeastern Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/6). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the allegations of war crimes by Russian soldiers in Bucha, and the new economic sanctions that include targeting Vladimir Putin’s daughters; high gas and food prices and Wednesday’s testimony before Congress by big oil executives about oil prices; the DOJ’s investigation of Hunter Biden’s international business dealings; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; the first January 6 participant to be charged and found not guilty and Ivanka Trump’s testimony before the January 6 committee; the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns about the Omicron BA.2 variant; Elon Musk becomes the largest Twitter shareholder and gets a seat on the board; and the severe weather doing damage across the Southeastern U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

| April 5, 2022

Key Networks and Bill O’Reilly Launch Nightly ‘No Spin News’ Program. A new, nightly one-hour program hosted by Bill O’Reilly and syndicated by Key Networks is launching in May. Dubbed “No Spin News,” the program is the next step for the one-hour show that has been airing weeknights at 9:00 on WABC, New York for over a year as “Common Sense with Bill O’Reilly.” Key Networks says the show is the number one show (Persons 12+) among talk-formatted radio stations in the New York DMA, MF 7PM-12Midnight, according to Nielsen. Key Networks syndicates O’Reilly’s radio shows “The O’Reilly Update,” “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition,” and “The O’Reilly Update – Weekend Edition” on more than 250 radio stations. O’Reilly says, “The incredible success of our nightly news analysis hour on WABC took me by surprise. I knew the product was strong, but the ratings are overwhelming. The folks caught up with us on the radio very quickly.” Key Networks COO Dennis Green says, “Stations have asked for more O’Reilly content and we are delivering! We are delighted to offer his ‘No Spin News’ program to radio stations every weeknight to get the latest news and information you won’t get anywhere else.”

 

 

Amber Athey Explains Exit from WMAL-FM’s ‘O’Connor & Company’ Show in Spectator Column. The Spectator Washington editor Amber Athey says in her column that her critics on the left have tried “every trick in the book” to drive her out of the industry but her exit from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington finally came as the company bowed “to the mob.” Athey was one of three rotating women co-hosts on the “O’Connor & Company” morning show led by Larry O’Connor. In early March she posted a tweet critical of Kamala Harris’ brown pant suit worn at the State of the Union address, comparing her to a UPS employee. After a period of time, she was informed by the company that the perception of the tweet was racist, and she was being let go for violating the company’s social media policy. In her piece she says, “This incident has destroyed the integrity and reputation of WMAL and Cumulus as hosts of conservative content. We spoke frequently about the dangers of censorship and cancel culture on our program, and yet here they are bowing to the mob. If I can be fired for making fun of the vice president’s outfit, every single host on a Cumulus station is in danger of losing their job at a moment’s notice. Political commentary is worthless if it can’t be used to speak truth to those in power without fear of professional consequences.”

 

 

Salem GM Mike Shields to Retire; Segar Kannan to Lead San Francisco Stations. Radio executive Mike Shields is retiring from his position as general manager for Salem Media Group’s San Francisco stations in June. The company is appointing current Portland cluster general sales manager Segar Kannan to lead the San Francisco operations. Salem CEO David Santrella says of Shields, “Mike has been leading Salem’s San Francisco cluster for 11 years and has built a solid team, terrific culture, and delivered growth in both revenue and operating income yearly. Mike has had a great run than includes nearly 50 years in media and he has been a pleasure to work with. We wish them a multitude of blessings!” Segar Kannan has served for 23 years with Salem. Santrella says, “He is a leader who has worked hard, driven his team to excellence in digital revenue and earned this opportunity at the next level of leadership.” The San Francisco cluster includes news/talk KTRB “860 AM The Answer,” business talk KDOW-AM “Wall Street Business Network,” and three Christian-formatted stations.

 

 

TALKERS News Notes. During this year’s MLB season, New York Yankees manager, Aaron Boone will appear regularly on Good Karma Brands’ sports talk station “ESPN New York.” Boone will join “The Michael Kay Show” each week on Thursdays during the 4:00 pm hour. Kay says, “We are thrilled that Aaron will join us every week on the show. Aaron is honest, self-effacing and will be able to answer the questions that rabid baseball fans have about the games. This will be a must listen for fans of any team.”…..iHeartRadio and Propagate Content announce a new podcast titled, “Return to the Shadows with Katherine McNamara and Dominic Sherwood.” The podcast will revisit “Shadowhunters,” the hit television fantasy series that launched the Freeform network and ran for three seasons, and whose premature ending sparked a worldwide #SaveShadowhunters campaign. Returning to their time as leading duo Clary Fray and Jace Wayland, McNamara and Sherwood will delve into the Shadow World, highlighting stories from the set, favorite plotlines, and the show’s legacy – kept alive by millions across the globe. The series debuts on April 11.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, Hunter Biden Investigation, IPCC Report, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Jackson Confirmation, and Sacramento Shooting Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the growing evidence of Russian war crimes; the American economy, high gas and food prices; the DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities; the UN’s IPCC issues dire climate change report; November’s midterm battle for control of Congress and Donald Trump’s influence within the GOP; the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and the search for the shooters in Sunday’s deadly Sacramento attacks were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

| September 1, 2020

Salem Radio Network to Syndicate Charlie Kirk Show. Beginning October 5, Salem Radio Network is syndicating a new, three-hour talk show hosted by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. He’s been hosting an eponymous podcast that SRN says has “quickly become one of the top ten podcasts according to the Apple News charts.” The radio program will air live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart. Kirk founded Turning Point USA in his parents’ garage in the suburbs of Chicago when he was 18 years old. SRN says that today, that organization has a presence on over 2,000 campuses, directly engages over 250,000 students every year, and boasts a staff of over 450 full-time and part-time employees scattered across the country, all “playing offense with a sense of urgency to win America’s culture war.” Kirk is also the author of the bestseller The MAGA Doctrine: The Only Ideas that Will Win the Future (Broadside Books, 2020). Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce says, “Rarely do we find somebody as knowledgeable and talented as Charlie Kirk as a potential talk radio host. He wants to change the world and I think he’s the type of talent who can actually do that. It will be a great opportunity to watch him succeed.”

Sports Talker Nate Lucas Off Air After Using ‘Sexist Slur.’ According to a report in the Springfield News-Leader, KTXR-FM, Springfield, Missouri “ESPN Jock 98.7” host Nate Lucas is off of his 9:00 am to 11:00 am show after using a “sexist slur” to describe vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. The News-Leader’s Harrison Keegan says that Lucas was also “hypercritical” of members of the Missouri State University football program after they announced a campus march to raise awareness of racial injustice. That caused fellow station host Art Hains (who is also play-by-play broadcaster for Missouri State athletics) to take leave of his program because of Lucas’ comments. Hains said he “did not want to be associated with the ‘regrettable’ comments Lucas made about Missouri State student-athletes and staff.” Tom Ladd, operations manager for the Zimmer Midwest Communications station, asked listeners to give management “time to deal with the situation.”

Round One of August PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these markets. With the return of live sports, Entercom’s WFAN, New York adds six-tenths to climb to a 2.3 share and the #17 rank. The company’s all-news WINS tacks on a half share to finish the survey with a 4.3 share and remains ranked #7. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI dips eight-tenths for a 3.9 share and slides to the #5 rank. Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago halts its recent slide with a three-tenths increase to finish the August survey with a 3.6 share and the #9 rank. Across town, Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM remains ranked #1 on the strength of a three-tenths increase to wrap the survey with a 7.3 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

Ramsey Network Launches Dr. John Delony Podcast. A new podcast from Ramsey Solutions is joining the Ramsey Network. “The Dr. John Delony Show” is a caller-driven show that provides real talk about life, relationships, and mental health challenges from host and Ramsey Personality Dr. John Delony, a leading voice on relationships and emotional wellness. Ramsey Solutions says, “Through humor, grace and grit, Delony gives people the tools they need to cut through the chaos of anxiety, depression, and disconnection.” The show will be published three times a week and will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, the Ramsey Network app, YouTube and on smart speakers.

Entercom and GM Partner for RADIO.COM Native App in Seven Million Vehicles. This deal between Entercom and General Motors will put RADIO.COM as a native, in-dash application into nearly seven million compatible Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac vehicles. The app allows drivers with compatible vehicles to seamlessly access RADIO.COM through embedded technology beginning on September 15. Entercom VP of corporate business development David Rosenbloom says, “We’re pleased to launch this app with GM to expand the reach of RADIO.COM’s connected car offering into millions of vehicles across the country and enhance the consumer in-vehicle experience. Drivers now have another way to connect with their favorite station and talent, regardless of the market they live in, and enjoy our robust portfolio of leading local news and sports radio content, as well as our suite of leading music stations, podcasts, and on-demand audio content whenever they want, wherever they are going.”

Entercom to Implement Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan. In a memo to all employees, Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field announces that the company’s Diversity, Equit and Inclusion Task Force has produced a four-prong action plan for the company that seeks to “build a more diverse organization, strengthen our culture of inclusion and respect and foster a more just, equitable and inclusive nation.” The plan calls for a partnership with the National Urban League to “deepen our understanding of economic and social justice issues within our communities and provide support for NUL programs through public service messages”; a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities Morehouse, Clark, and Spelman “through various actions to provide career opportunities and counseling, while creating a pipeline of diverse talent for key hiring needs within our organization”; a fellowship program “to create up to 10 fellowship roles for recent college graduates emphasizing diverse candidates to fill key openings across the organization”; and unconscious bias training “for our leadership team and online training for our entire team as part of our ongoing investments in skill building and training.”

Danno Wolkoff Named COO at Sun Broadcast Group. Media executive Danno Wolkoff is named chief operating officer at Gen Media Partners’ general market network division Sun Broadcast Group. Wolkoff takes over for Julio Aponte, who recently exited the company. Wolkoff joined SBG after it acquired Wolkoff’s Envision Networks in January of this year. Also, SBG announces it has created two additional New York-based ad sales positions with the hiring of Jackie Cardillo and Angela Codella, both of whom will report directly to Wolkoff.

Presidential Race, Protest Violence/BLM Movement, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, New Stimulus Deal, and NFL Investigating Washington Football Team Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31). The November presidential election; the violent protests in Portland and Los Angeles and President Trump’s planned trip to Kenosha in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools and the COVID-19 outbreaks at numerous college campuses; a new stimulus deal being worked on in Congress; and the NFL takes over the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the Washington Football Team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. In Los Angeles, Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC-AM is adding network newscasts from Total Traffic and Weather Network. TTWN has provided local news and traffic reports to the station since 2018. Under the expanded partnership, TTWN will provide KABC-AM with unbranded network newscasts delivered by TTWN’s 24/7 News division. KABC-AM had been using the Westwood One News service that ceased operations on August 30. KABC VP and market manager Drew Hayes says, “We are excited and happy to continue and expand our relationship with TTWN. They have proven to be not only a top-shelf national news and traffic services provider, but also a responsive and creative partner.”…..Hubbard Radio unveils a new podcast app built specifically for Minnesotans called, PodMN. The mobile app was soft launched in December and showcases podcasts that feature voices, topics and stories that are rooted in Minnesota. It is also aimed at making locally produced audio more discoverable and more profitable for its creators. Users will find hundreds of podcasts from independent local content creators like PodMN’s own senior editor Beth K. Gibbs who also produces and co-hosts the podcast, “Totes Recall.”…..Cox Media Group Tulsa is partnering with the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance to provide four weeks of hands-on, curiosity-driven activities during the month of STEMtember “to help grow a love of science, technology, engineering and math in Green Country students and families.” Each week will offer free virtual experiences for students and teachers, and some weeks will include a physical component. CMG Tulsa vice president Cathy Gunther says, “We are proud to partner with the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance to help offer hands-on resources for students to use, especially now when so many are engaged in distance learning.”…..Rush Street Interactive and VSiN announce a multi-year agreement that includes the launch of “Rush Hour.” VSiN will broadcast “Rush Hour” live from the in-casino sportsbook in Rivers Casino Des Plaines in Illinois weekdays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET…..Actor Zack Robidas (“Succession,” “Friends from College,” “30 Rock”) hosts “The Pod Spotter,” a podcast that celebrates under-the-radar and next-big-thing podcasts. Created and produced by Price Brothers, “The Pod Spotter” will be published every Monday. Robidas says, “With over a million podcasts in existence today, and more being developed every day, it’s sort of the Wild West out there when it comes to pod fans finding appropriate content. When I was approached to host the show, I was shocked to find that no such resource exists. And so, we wanted to do a show that not only entertained but had great utility as well.”…..C13Originals expands its partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham, and HISTORY with a new podcast documentary series, “It Was Said,” that focuses on some of the most important, impactful and relevant speeches in history. Drawing on a selection of speeches from powerful figures in history like Martin Luther King, Jr., Ronald Reagan, JFK, RFK, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Lewis, Edward R. Murrow, and Barbara Jordan, Meacham offers expert insight and analysis into their origins, the orator, the context of the times they were given, why they are still relevant today, and the importance of never forgetting them. “It Was Said” launches tomorrow (9/2).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio legend Scott Shannon and Entercom agree to a contract extension to continue his hosting the “Scott Shannon in the Morning with Patty Steele” program on classic hits WCBS-FM, New York as well as his nationally syndicated weekend countdown show “America’s Greatest Hits.” Entercom SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “When New Yorkers think of morning radio, they hear Scott Shannon in their minds. Generations of listeners have woken up with Scott as the first voice they hear each day. As relevant and compelling as ever, it is fitting that he holds court on WCBS-FM 101.1, right in the middle of that radio dial that he has influenced like no other talent in history.”…..iHeartMedia announces that Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Bon Jovi has been added to the lineup for the 10th anniversary of its iHeartRadio Music Festival that will feature live performances recorded on stages in Los Angeles and Nashville in front of a virtual audience that will include a Capital One Fan Wall of iHeartRadio station winners. Taking place on September 18 and 19, the concert event is being hosted by Ryan Seacrest and this year’s virtual two-day mega-concert will feature already announced performances from: BTS, Coldplay, Kane Brown with special guest Khalid, Keith Urban, Migos, Miley Cyrus, Thomas Rhett, Usher and more. The CW Network will broadcast the two-night televised iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 27 and 28.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

| June 11, 2020

Beasley Media Group Extends Furloughs and Pay Reductions. In a memo to company employees, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley announced that the furlough and pay reduction program begun in April and set to expire at the end of June is being continued through the end of the calendar year. In early April Beasley eliminated 67 positions, furloughed some staffers, and cut hours for full-time employees. Beasley told her employees, “No one could have ever anticipated that several of our markets would not begin the first phase of the reopening process until June. As a result, we must continue to adapt to the new financial environment we are facing within each of our individual markets.” Beasley herself continues taking her 20% pay cut while the 10% salary reduction and pared-back hours for full-timers continues through December. Beasley did say if circumstances change, some furloughed employees could return to work sooner.

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano Tackles the COVID-19 Education Crisis in Two-Hour Special.  WPHT, Philadelphia “Talk Radio 1210” presented its midday host Dom Giordano’s timely education special titled, “The Looming Learning Crisis.”  The two-hour special talk program, written and hosted by Giordano – a former Pennsylvania public school teacher – aired on June 4 and 6 and featured U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, Philadelphia superintendent of schools William Hite and other top officials debating whether students will return to schools in September and how parents can make up for the lost academic ground experienced this year. A variety of opposing views were presented but all agreed that this is a critical issue that is not being debated and discussed enough in the media. The program received rave reviews from listeners and sponsors alike for its even-handed and highly informational approach to the subject.

Alpha Media to Present Companywide Broadcast on Racial Tensions. Tomorrow (6/12) at 10:00 am, Alpha Media will present “United For Justice – A Day of Discussion” that will air on its 65-plus radio stations as well as on the website UnitedForJustice.com. The company says that “The Day of Discussion” will “address the pain that communities are going through due to racial tensions in America. It will feature prominent national and local voices and figures on the front lines in the fight for equality and justice.” Along with radio personalities in Alpha markets, hosts will include Skyview NetworksNick Cannon and Dana Cortez, Ebro Darden, Laura Stylez, Tino Cochino, Big Boy, Jubal Fresh, and Radio Hall of Fame host Tom Joyner. Joining anchor host Nick Cannon will be Snoop Dogg, T.I., Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada (D-29th Dist.), and Black Lives Matter co-founder Dr. Melina Abdullah. Apple Music host Ebro Darden will speak with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) about how the nation is being impacted and the steps we can take towards progress. Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt says, “The events of the last few weeks are reminding us that this is not a new problem but one that needs to be addressed right now. We have what many other companies do not have, a real medium for change. We should not and cannot allow it to go unused. We are united in that we love the communities we live in. We are united in our love for broadcasting. We are united in the comfort that we have each other’s support. And today, I’m asking that we are united for justice.”

Round Three of May PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 survey period covered April 23 – May 20. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets noting the slight erosion of weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers that so many all-news and news/talk stations built up over the March and April sweeps. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM lost a full share, finishing the month with a 6.0 share and the #3 rank in the market. Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte loses seven-tenths but remains in the #3 spot with a 6.3 share. In San Antonio, iHeartMedia’s WOAI-AM sheds eight-tenths to wrap the month with a 7.1 share and the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento falls 2.2 shares to a 9.4 share but remains ranked #1. Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City drops 2.8 shares and falls from #1 to #4 on the strength of a 6.0 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Police Reform Protests/De-Funding Movement, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Presidential Race/Elections, Recession/Financial Markets, and NASCAR Bans Confederate Flag Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10). The ongoing police reform protests, the destruction of Confederate and colonial-era statues, Seattle’s “autonomous” zone, and the related de-fund the police movement; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the spike in case numbers in some states; the November presidential election and procedural problems at some primary and local elections; the U.S. officially enters a recession and activity in the world’s financial markets; and NASCAR bans Confederate flag images in all its sanctioned events were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Public media organization WNYC announces that San Francisco Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper is named the newest editor-in-chief for WNYC. Corporation chief content officer Andrew Golis tells staffers that in this role, Cooper “will oversee our local news operations: the WNYC newsroom (radio and Gothamist) and our local talk shows, ‘The Brian Lehrer Show’ and ‘All of It.’ News director Sean Bowditch, Gothamist executive editor Jen Chung, and head of live radio Megan Ryan will report to her.” He adds that at the Chronicle, Cooper “guided a 200-person newsroom through dramatic growth in its ambition and audience, all while sharply increasing the diversity of its staff. As CJR wrote a few years ago, under Audrey’s leadership there’s been ‘a near consensus, inside and outside the Chronicle, that the paper is doing its best work in years, perhaps ever.’”…..Hartford, Connecticut outlet WFSB-TV and Connoisseur Media’s radio stations are joining forces to deliver a live broadcast about race and justice featuring community leaders in Connecticut this evening at 7:00 pm.  The program is being co-hosted by WFSB-TV’s Dennis House and urban AC WYBC OM and afternoon host Juan Castillo. Featured on the program will be Chaz from the “Chaz & AJ in the Morning” show that airs on rock WPLR and WFOX “95.9 The Fox.” The conversation will include Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut NAACP president Scot Esdaile, Milford police chief and Connecticut Police Chiefs Association president Keith L. Mello, and assistant United States Attorney Ndidi N. Moses. Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “This is a vital topic for our communities, and profoundly important to Connoisseur Media. We continue to commit resources to helping our society move forward to a brighter future together.”…..ESPN announces it is using Megaphone publishing and ad insertion for its network of podcasts, beginning in July. The Megaphone suite will offer ESPN enterprise-level podcast hosting, publishing, dynamic ad insertion, campaign management, forecasting, and analytics tools in supporting podcasts such as: “Fantasy Focus Football” with Matthew Berry, Field Yates, and Stephania Bell; “The Lowe Post” with Zach Lowe; “The Woj Pod” with Adrian Wojnarowski, “The Hoop Collective” with Brian Windhorst, The “SVPod” with Scott Van Pelt, and “ESPN Daily” with Mina Kimes.

Salem Radio Network Star Larry Elder Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. African American conservative talk show host Larry Elder of Salem Radio Network is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Elder is an LA-based attorney, author, and documentary filmmaker who represents the conservative African American view that, in many ways, runs counter to the popular political narrative that there is systemic and institutional anti-black racism in America in 2020 as so vividly depicted in the disturbing George Floyd video. Elder believes that message is overblown and sensationalized by liberal politicians, the Democratic Party, the mainstream media, and professional lifelong race baiters – and actually keeps African Americans down, casting them in the role of perennial victims. Harrison states, “Last week on the podcast we presented an in-depth conversation with SiriusXM Satellite Radio ‘Urban View’ channel personality Joe Madison who presented a passionate and compelling case for the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. But anyone who listens to news/talk radio knows that is not the only perspective on the topic and not all African Americans are of the same mind when it comes to the issue. Having Larry Elder on the podcast this week rounds out the conversation that exists among African Americans about the issue.” To listen to the podcast with Larry Elder in its entity as well as last week’s conversation with Joe Madison, 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Singer-songwriter H.E.R. debuted a brand-new song titled, “I Can’t Breathe,” – written in response to racial injustice – on Wednesday evening’s iHeartRadio Living Room Concert Series Presented by State Farm. The performance streamed on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and across iHeartMedia urban and urban AC stations across the country and benefitted Meals on Wheels and Urban League…..Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Dede McGuire is hosting a Facebook Live Community Conversation about race in America this evening (6/11) at 8:00 pm ET. She’ll be talking with some of her “DeDe in the Morning” affiliate stations about what is happening in their cities. Representative cities are Dallas; Pittsburgh; Milwaukee; Tyler, Texas; and New Haven, Connecticut…..Next week (June 15-19) the ladies are once again taking over Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” show after a successful first round last month. Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum, Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Lauren Alaina, and Runaway June will each take the mic one evening and take the fans into their living rooms for a night of country music fun. Elaina Smith says, “I am so excited and thankful to be doing this again. The ladies of country continue to prove that they are not only insanely talented with their music, they are also hilarious, brilliant, genuine women that do such an amazing job of connecting on every level with our listeners.”