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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

| September 8, 2021

SuperTalk Mississippi Network Announces ‘MidDays with Gerard Gibert.’ The “SuperTalk Mississippi Network” operated by TeleSouth Communications that airs on 12 news/talk outlets across the state announces the launch of a new show to air in the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daypart. “MidDays with Gerard Gibert” takes over the slot previously held by J.T. Williamson, who recently died after a battle with lymphoma. SuperTalk Mississippi Media says Gerard is “an entrepreneur, capitalist, and Journey junkie. After founding Venture Technologies in 1986, Gerard worked diligently to provide jobs for Mississippians and ultimately sold the well-established company in 2019. Wanting to have a larger impact in Mississippi, Gibert joined the SuperTalk family in March of 2020, filling in as guest host of ‘The JT Show’ and being overwhelmingly welcomed by the SuperTalk audience.” Gibert comments, “It’s been an honor over the past 19 months to guest host for J.T. as he focused on fighting cancer. While in the chair, I’ve gotten acquainted with The JT Show’s vast audience – truly the best of Mississippi. Without a doubt, they loved and respected J.T. and I greatly appreciate the welcome they extended to me. I am ‘Super’ excited about launching my new show and look forward to achieving the standard of broadcasting excellence delivered daily by J.T. and consistent with the SuperTalk tradition.” SuperTalk Mississippi Media owner Steve Davenport adds, “Gerard is passionate and relatable, with a natural ability to connect with his audience. He understands the immense power that radio has to connect with listeners for three hours every day. I am confident that he will take this opportunity and create a lasting legacy just as his predecessor J.T. did before him. The company will always remember J.T. and the impact he had on his wonderful and loyal fanbase, and the state of Mississippi as a whole.”

‘Free Talk Live’ Co-Founder Ian Freeman’s Legal Situation is Featured in New York Magazine Piece. Regular readers of TALKERS magazine are probably aware of the legal situation the “Free Talk Live” co-founder Ian Freeman finds himself in: He’s out on $200,000 bond (with an ankle monitor) awaiting trial for various charges stemming from his (and five of his associates’) bitcoin activities. Though there are some 20 charges against him after the FBI’s five-year investigation, the thrust of the government’s case is that Freeman was not licensed to handle the bitcoin-for-cash transactions. The piece is written for New York by Simon van Zuylen-Wood and he writes about the case, “The government alleged that Freeman had been running a sophisticated multimillion-dollar racket that enabled ‘hordes of cyber criminals’ to scam victims and launder money. To do this, prosecutors said, Freeman and his crew used both online accounts and crypto vending machines to execute thousands of unlicensed transactions, trading the Shire’s [referring to the Freeman-founded Shire Free Church] bitcoin for cash without asking too many questions about its origins. Freeman was also charged with enlisting friends to stash his operation’s proceeds into newly created bank accounts under false pretenses. (Freeman and his codefendants have pleaded not guilty.)” The piece goes into detail about Freeman’s and co-founder Mark Edge’s settling in Keene, New Hampshire to join the libertarian Free State Project, a bit about the history of the nationally syndicated radio program and a lot about the bitcoin scene in Keene. Edge has not been arrested or indicted because, as he tells New York, “I wasn’t buying and selling cryptocurrency, because I think it’s stupid.” Meanwhile, Freeman recently told a caller to the radio show if he has any regrets about his actions, he says, “Is there something I regret? I mean, of course not. This is my mission. I’ve been given this mission from God to get this alternative form of value into people’s hands.”

WPHT, Philadelphia to Present Nine-Hour 9/11 Anniversary Program Remote Broadcast. Philadelphia news/talk outlet WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11 with a live, remote broadcast on Friday (9/10) from the Doylestown Firehouse. The program is titled, “9/11 Through The Eyes Of…” and begins at 6:00 am and runs through 3:00 pm. WPHT personalities Dom Giordano, Dawn Stensland and Rich Zeoli will honor first responders, then and now. Listeners will hear stories highlighting local firefighters and police officers who showed heroism on 9/11, as well as family members who were touched by this life-changing event. Through the station’s partnership with the Travis Manion Foundation, WPHT is raising donations to support local first responders and to show gratitude for their ongoing dedication to the community. This is another example of the Audacy station’s practice of producing documentary specials addressing news events and historic milestones for which it has been getting positive industry attention.

Mancow Returns to Live Broadcasting with New Show. Radio personality Erich “Mancow” Muller is launching what he calls a live podcast and says it will be “everything Mancow’s ‘Militia of Love’ members have come to expect.” “Monday Night Live with Mancow” is a weekly, full-length live episode covering current events. He’s also debuting, “Microaggressions,” a series of short webisodes featuring random thoughts and “throwback” content throughout the week. “Monday Night Live with Mancow” airs Mondays at 8:00 pm ET via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter (via Periscope), Twitch and Rumble. Episodes are available to re-watch immediately following the live stream and are additionally uploaded to Bitchute and syndicated as an audio podcast through Spotifiy’s syndication platform Anchor.fm and is available on Spotify, Apple and other popular podcast platforms. Mancow says, “We wanted to create the least amount of friction possible between our listeners and our content and ensure that if we get censored or deplatformed by the tech monopolies, there are plenty of additional options to access our show. The new Mancow 2.0 is pure Mancow minus the well-paid, annoying sidekick chuckleheads. Everything we hear now is pre-chewed corporate pablum puked into America’s psyche. This is something else.”

Joe Mathieu’s ‘Sound On’ to Air on ‘Bloomberg Radio’ in Boston. The “Sound On” program hosted by longtime Boston news radio personality Joe Mathieu is joining the programming lineup at Beasley Media Group’s WRCA-AM/WBOS-HD2/W291CZ “Bloomberg Radio” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The station says, “Anchored by Bloomberg Washington correspondent Joe Mathieu, the one-hour news program delivers insight and analysis on the latest headlines from the White House and Capitol Hill, including conversations with influential lawmakers and key figures in politics and policy.” The program currently airs in Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, and nationally on SiriusXM. During his career, Mathieu has anchored morning drive programs at all-news WBZ-AM and public radio news/talk WGBH-FM in Boston.

Griffin Communications’ KTSB-AM, Tulsa Adds FOX Sports Programming. The new Tulsa sports talk outlet KTSB-AM “The Blitz 1170 AM” (formerly news/talk KFAQ-AM) is adding FOX Sports Radio programming for its evening hours. Griffin Broadcasting says FOX Sports will air from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am daily and 24/7 on weekends. Shows heard on weeknights will include: “Outkick The Coverage,” “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” and “The Ben Maller Show.” KTSB-AM program director Jeremie Poplin says, “We’re excited to launch a station with great local personalities combined with the excellent resources of FOX Sports Radio. We could not have asked for a better partnership.”

Triton Digital Releases Streaming Ranker for July. This data from Triton Digital is based on Triton’s listing of the top performing digital audio publishers as measured by its Streaming Metrics and Webcast Metrics measurement services. The following ranks U.S. publishers’ U.S. streaming based on Average Active Sessions for Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight for July of 2021. iHeartMedia leads the top 20 with more than 280,000 AAS. Other U.S. broadcasters include: Audacy at #3 with 57,466 AAS; Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 with 38,856 AAS; Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 with 16,276 AAS; Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 with 13,845 AAS; Salem Communications at #11 with 8,346 AAS; Urban One at #12 with 6,677 AAS; Bonneville International at #13 with 6,432 AAS; and Midwest Communications at #18 with 4,464 AAS. See the complete report here.

TALKERS News Notes. New WABC, New York talk show host James Golden, of “The Bo Snerdley Show,” announces the formation of the Golden-TIPP Poll. Golden is partnering with TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics to present “issue-specific surveys of public opinion involving emerging political policies.” Golden says, “Objectivity and accuracy are paramount in providing information, so people can make informed decisions about their lives. I can think of no better partner for providing radio listeners with the political, historical and socio-economic information they need than TIPP.”…..SportsMap Radio is adding “Pushing the Odds Sunday” to its weekend program schedule. This edition is an offshoot of the network’s midday sports gambling show “Pushing The Odds with Matt Perrault.” Perrault’s new Sunday show airs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET and will use sports betting information to further the discussion about what is going on every Sunday in the NFL. Perrault is being joined on the show by former Western Michigan linebacker and current market analyst for Betfred Sports, Jason Sylva. They will update the audience on the games plus preview the SNF matchup from a betting perspective…..The National Football League and iHeartMedia announce the NFL’s Podcast Network programming lineup for this season. Earlier this year, the NFL and iHeartMedia announced an exclusive partnership to launch the NFL’s Podcast Network that includes the distribution of NFL Media’s existing podcasts, certain Member Club podcasts, and the co-production and distribution of two dozen new original shows with the iHeartPodcast Network. Available to listeners will be the six existing podcasts plus six podcasts new for this season…..Shining City Audio, a recently launched history-focused podcast studio joint-venture between C13Originals and Jon Meacham, announce details for “It Was Said: Sports.” This new documentary podcast franchise is being narrated by NBA legend Doc Rivers and features some of the most important and inspirational sports speeches throughout history. Drawing from powerful figures like Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, and Hank Aaron, season one takes listeners through six speeches whose impact, legacy, and significance goes far beyond the world of sports.

COVID-19/Coronavirus Research Revelation, Afghanistan, Texas Abortion Law, Biden Social Safety Net Bill, Hurricane Ida Aftermath/California Wildfires, and Newsom Recall Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/7). The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., concerns about new variants, and mask & vaccine mandates plus The Intercept’s report that the NIH did fund coronavirus research in Wuhan; the aftermath of the U.S.’s exit from Afghanistan; the battle over the restrictive Texas abortion law; Democrats ramp up efforts to pass trillions in funding for improved social services; slow recovery in the areas of the country impacted by Hurricane Ida and the ongoing California wildfires; and the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

| September 2, 2021

Scott James Matheson – Mayor and Radio Broadcaster – is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. It is not uncommon for longtime AM drive local radio personalities to be dubbed the “morning mayor” of the cities in which they broadcast. Scott James Matheson, the morning host at Talk 92.1 WDDQ, Valdosta, GA, actually is the mayor of the South Georgia city in which he is heard daily! In addition, he is the owner of WDDQ and its parent company, Smalltown Broadcasting, LLC.  He is also this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Wrap.” Matheson was inaugurated mayor of the Deep South city of 60,000-plus residents in early 2020 and has a very interesting story to tell juggling both demanding jobs. Harrison and Matheson discuss small town America politics and the view of today’s national conversation from Valdosta’s key geographic perspective located right near the Florida-Georgia line. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

KFAQ-AM, Tulsa’s Flip to Sports Talk Happens Tuesday. Tulsa news/talk outlet KFAQ-AM will flip to sports talk on Tuesday (9/7), according to owner Griffin Communications. The company says it “is excited to announce ‘The Blitz 1170 AM’ – Tulsa’s new sports talk station covering Oklahoma and national sports by the folks who know sports best, the experts from Oklahoma’s Own.” Griffin VP of content Todd Spessard says, “We are so excited to bring the best local sports radio to Tulsa. From high school to college to professional – Tulsa has so many great sports stories to tell, and we can’t wait to bring them to Green Country. We’re putting together a local lineup of some of the best and well-known Tulsa voices and are ready to start talking sports!” The station will be live and local from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Its lineup is as follows: University of Tulsa hoops play-by-play announcer Rick Couri from 6:00 am to 9:00 am; Dan Hawk from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Big Al & Friends from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; Jeremie “Pop” Poplin from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Colby Daniels from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Barstool Sports from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Griffin says the station will also feature content from the KOTV-DT “News On 6 Sports” team led by veteran sports director John Holcomb and appearances by KWTV-TV “News 9” sportscaster Dean Blevins covering all things OU, OKC Thunder reporter Steve McGehee, and college football analyst Dusty Dvoracek. KFAQ director of programming Jeremie Poplin adds, “I am incredibly excited for this opportunity with The Blitz. A lot of hard work has gone into all the stages of planning for a station that will reach a variety of different fan bases. We will strive to present a product everyone can be proud of and help fill the local sports void in Tulsa.”

WOKY-AM, Milwaukee Pulls Bill Michaels Show After Audacy Cries Foul. According to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Madison, Wisconsin-based sports talk host Bill Michaels’ program has been removed from the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s WOKY-AM after two days because Michaels’ former employer Audacy is claiming his being on WOKY violates his non-compete. Michaels’ show aired on Audacy’s crosstown WSSP-AM until January of this year when he was let go. His program is currently based at Mid-West Family Communications’ WOZN-AM/W244DR, Madison and it launched on WOKY on Monday (8/30) in the 11:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart. Michaels tells the paper, “Audacy sent a cease-and-desist to iHeart. What they’re claiming is that no station in Milwaukee can carry me.” He says the question is whether his contractual obligation to Audacy allows him to appear on a Milwaukee station as a syndicated talent versus as an employee. It’s not clear when the non-compete period expires.

El Dorado Broadcasters Unveils Hyperlocal News Platform in Yuma. The owner of news/talk KBLU-AM, Yuma, Arizona and two music outlets – El Dorado Broadcasters – announces the debut of a hyperlocal news website for Greater Yuma called Yumadailynews.com. The company is calling it a “new newsroom focused on the local happenings in southwest Arizona.” It will distribute its content via Yumadailynews.com, its radio stations, social media platforms and daily e-news headlines. El Dorado executive president Chris Fleming says, “We serve our local market with our broadcast stations, but this is a logical expansion of services for the market. It seems like an opportunity for our company to step into this space and make an immediate impact for the community we serve.” The newsroom is being managed by news director Andrew Caravella.

WLS-AM, Chicago Debuts Weekend Travel Show. A new travel show is launching on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago. “Round Trip With Colleen Kelly” will air on Sunday (9/5) from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Kelly is a digital contributor to National Geographic and Travel + Leisure and is host, creator and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated PBS series, “Family Travel With Colleen Kelly.” She says, “I am thrilled to be working with the legendary WLS team and Cumulus Media, bringing audiences the latest in travel news, tips, and destinations on ‘Round Trip with Colleen Kelly.’ It is always an honor and a pleasure to work with and create work at the WLS-AM radio station. What a fantastic opportunity to connect with not only dedicated Chicago listeners but also listeners from across the U.S.”

New Lexington, Kentucky Sports Talker Launches. Flipping from country to sports talk, Clarity Communications’ WZNN-FM, Stamping Ground, Kentucky re-launches as “Sports 96.1 The Zone” using content from FOX Sports Radio. The station’s press release says, “The station will feature the only live and local afternoon drive show hosted by program director Terry Ford, Big Blue reports daily, extensive live pre- and post-game UK coverage before and after every Wildcat game, play-by-play of high school football and basketball, play-by-play of regional and national college football and basketball and play-by-play of the biggest NFL games every week. Clarity CEO Charlie Cohn says, “Clarity Communications is pleased to bring local sports talk to FM in Lexington. We will not only have the only local afternoon sports talk show in the market, but we plan to expand all our local coverage of the sports teams and topics that matter in Central Kentucky. Plus, we are pleased to bring Dan Patrick and Colin Cowherd back to Lexington. And our partnership with FOX Sports Radio means Lexington and the surrounding areas can expect the best sports coverage 24/7.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new program from ESPN Podcasts hosted by former NFL coach Rex Ryan and former NFL linebacker Bart Scott will debut on September 12. Titled, “Organized Chaos,” new episodes will drop each Monday and will “provide listeners with expert insight and analysis on everything happening around the league featuring trending stories from on and off the field.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a new 13-episode podcast series called, “9/11 & Sports: 20 Years Later.” It looks back at the impact of that day’s events on the world of sports and the reaction by leagues, players and fans in the hours, days, weeks and years that followed. SixiursXM SVP of sports programming & podcasts Steve Cohen says, “We’ve produced this series to tell the story of how the events of 9/11, one of the most tragic days in our history, reverberated through the world of sports through the days and months that followed the attacks, and in ways even now 20 years later. We remember lives heartbreakingly lost that day, the way our country responded, and the impact on citizens and public figures alike.”

KTBB-AM/FM, Tyler, Texas’ Paul Berry Dead at 52. Longtime KTBB-AM/FM, Tyler, Texas news and operations director Paul Berry died on Tuesday afternoon of an apparent heart attack at the age of 52. The station says, “Berry joined KTBB more than 20 years ago after having previously been the program director and morning air personality on KTBB’s then sister station, KDOK. In addition to overseeing the editorial operation of the KTBB newsroom, he also managed the day-to-day technical operations of KTBB 97.5 FM, 600 AM and 92.1 FM, The TEAM Sports Radio.” Station owner Paul Gleiser adds, “Paul and I really loved the radio business. We spent a lot of time talking about the work of the great broadcasters that we both admired, and we also spent a lot of time looking for just one more way to make this station better. Somewhere in all of that an employment relationship morphed into friendship. I’m going to miss him.”

Gen Media Partners Launches Multicultural Initiative. In an effort to “champion the power and influence of certified minority-owned and -targeted radio stations to advertisers and agencies,” Gen Media Partners announces the formation of a strategic task force that will “advocate on behalf of the largely overlooked multicultural-owned and -targeted radio stations across all market sizes, including non-metro, and demonstrate multicultural radio’s remarkable power to connect with audiences.” The company says that Ann-Marie Figueira, whose promotion to SVP of Hispanic platforms and multicultural initiatives was announced recently, will lead the initiative. Gen Media Partners CEO Kevin Garrity adds, “Our goal – our job – is to make sure advertisers and their agencies look beyond the large-scale companies and include independent, certified minority-owned and -targeted radio groups in their plans. We’re already seeing a receptiveness to learning more about these stations and their effectiveness at reaching multicultural audiences with content that is relevant to their specific lifestyles, tastes, and cultures.” The company says it represents 1,176 radio stations in 168 markets, either minority-owned or -targeted to Hispanic, African American, Asian, or Indigenous audiences and has one of the strongest multicultural platforms in radio, reaching  95% of the multicultural segment of the US population.

Afghanistan Withdrawal, COVID-19, Ida Devastation/Caldor Wildfire, Texas Abortion Law, Social Security Insolvency, January 6 Investigation, and Newsom Recall Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/1). Criticism of President Joe Biden and Pentagon leaders over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the stress on ICUs in several states, and the controversy over mask & vaccine mandates; the devastation in Louisiana from Hurricane Ida and the flooding in the Northeast & the battle to keep the Caldor wildfire from Lake Tahoe; the Supreme Court votes 5-4 not to block the restrictive Texas abortion law; the report that the U.S. social security system will be insolvent by 2034; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens telecom companies that might comply with the January 6 committee’s investigation for phone records; and the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.