WKNR Contest Puts $30,000 Ad Campaign Up For Grabs. This marks the third consecutive year that Good Karma Brands sports talk WKNR “850 ESPN Cleveland” will give away a $30,000 WKNR advertising schedule to one local business. To qualify for “Moving Business Forward,” the establishment must be owned by a veteran, minority member, or woman. The promotion runs through this Friday (7/29) and is open to Northeast Ohio businesses incorporated and active for at least two years with annual revenue under $15 million in fiscal year 2021. Entrants must submit an under 300-word statement saying why their business deserves to win. Judging criteria will be on passion for the business; innovation during – and response to – the COVID-19 pandemic; employee loyalty; impact on business’ neighborhood/community; and overall business culture. According to Good Karma Brands Cleveland vice president/market manager Amy Crossman, “We are excited to partner with Keybank and the Cleveland Cavaliers to continue this powerful program for the local business community. We look forward to connecting our passionate sports fans with these deserving Cleveland-based businesses to help them thrive in the future.” The winner will have use of a private suite for one Cavs game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. WKNR will buy $2,500 in gift cards, divided among veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses, to be given away throughout the year.
NAB Appoints Hall to Leadership Foundation Board. Talk host/journalist/producer/author Tamron Hall is appointed to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Leadership Foundation. In addition, Hall assumes the newly-created position of industry ambassador, where she will work with NABLF on campaigns and fundraising efforts. NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke comments, “Tamron Hall exemplifies the values of NABLF through her commitment to service, advocacy, and diversity. Her strong record of public service and leadership make her uniquely-qualified to serve as a champion for the Foundation and for broadcasting. We look forward to her partnership and working with her to make our industry better.” Hall adds, “I am so excited to help the NAB Leadership Foundation continue its mission of attracting and developing the next generation of innovative broadcast executives. More than ever, we need to ensure that the broadcast industry has a pipeline of future leaders that reflect our diverse audiences. It’s been an honor to work with the Foundation in the past; I look forward to furthering this work as a member of the Board.” As industry ambassador, Hall will help NABLF honor broadcast radio and television stations’ community service efforts through the Foundation’s annual Celebration of Service to America Awards, which she hosted two years ago.
KO’s “Countdown” Continues as an iHM Podcast. Beginning August 1, former longtime ESPN and MSNBC anchor; author; and three-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner Keith Olbermann will launch a daily iHeartMedia podcast series. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will include a news-driven mix featuring a “Special Comment” political analysis and his popular MSNBC “Worst Person In The World” segment. As part of the podcast, the one time sports anchor at Los Angeles all-news outlet KNX will do a regular sports bit, as well as a daily call to help a suffering dog. In a Wall Street Journal interview this week, Olbermann declares that podcasts have, “replaced radio and to a large part television. Why not present something that is there every day for people? My goal is that you’ll be able to listen and get everything that happened. It won’t be, ‘here we are reacting to last week’s news.’ I’m doing the work for the work. I stopped predicting my next career development around 1997.” Former “Today” anchor Katie Couric and Fox News host Megyn Kelly launched post-television audio broadcasting careers. Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien signed a deal with SiriusXM earlier this year to start a podcasting venture. Olbermann covered the 1980 Olympics “Miracle on Ice” and anchored the 2009 Super Bowl pre-game show.
Hobbs To Helm MundoNow’s Óyenos Audio. Multicultural podcasting veteran Stephen Hobbs is named chief audio officer of MundoNow’s Latino podcast network, Óyenos Audio. Hobbs will oversee the development of new original scripted series and audio entertainment concepts that will focus on topics including true crime and inspirational stories. MundoNow chief executive officer Rene Alegrias remarks, “Latinos expect smart, highly sophisticated podcasts that provide a culturally-accurate connection to their heritage. Óyenos will provide this and it will be driven by the renowned Stephen Hobbs. In the world of multicultural podcasting, Stephen’s caliber and experience is unmatched.” MundoNow chief revenue officer/partner Andrew Polsky notes, “I immediately recognized the impact this platform can make in expanding meaningful podcasting for the underserved bilingual/bicultural market. This impact will be maximized with the hiring of Stephen. I’ve worked with him before on multiple brand partnership executions. I’m excited to collaborate with him again to not only elevate Óyenos, but the offering of Latino streaming content as a whole.” Hobbs states that bilingual digital media company MundoNow, recently rebranded from Mundo Hispanico, is “exceptionally well-positioned to become a leader in multicultural podcasting. It has the audience, it has the growth strategy under superior leadership from Rene and Andrew, and it has the production capacity. My job is to create content that will have listeners on the edge of their seats, or perhaps making an emotional connection.” Hobbs co-founded reVolver Podcasts; was Univision’s vice president of podcasts and experiential; and during his three-year tenure at Spanish Broadcasting Systems launched AIRE Radio Network. MundoNow generates ten million unique visitors each month, along with 70+ million pageviews and more than a quarter-billion served ad impressions.
TALKERS News Notes. In a Facebook post, Sammy Simpson reveals, “I am going to be transitioning out of the brand/content manager role at Capitol Broadcasting [Raleigh]. The company has started the search for a new sports [talk] program director and I would encourage you to apply or help spread the word if interested in a truly great opportunity.” Simpson joined Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh two years ago to oversee sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan”; sports talk WCMC-HD2 “Buzz Sports Radio”; and sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket.” The cluster also includes adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” and triple A WCLY “That Station.” … Meanwhile, in another sports talk-related Facebook post, we learn that Waterloo Media Austin flips Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.2, #22, June 2022, 6+) to sports talk as “102.7 ESPN Austin.” In addition to ESPN programming, the on-air lineup will include: Jason Dick and CJ Morgan (from alternative cluster-mate KROX); Ed Clements (from co-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM); and Bryan Bymark (from rock cluster-mate KLBJ-FM). … Per USA Today‘s Mike Organ, Nashville media personality Mark Howard has died at the age of 65. In 2004, Howard became co-host of “The Wake Up Zone” on Nashville sports talk WGFX “The Zone 104.5”; he left the show in 2020. The Connecticut native most recently worked as a part-time host at cross-town Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT-FM “The Game 102.5.” Howard spent several years hosting a Tennessee Titans post-game show and co-hosted Nashville Predators pre-game and post-game programs. … The first five recipients of the Friends of Georgia Radio’s “Georgia Radio Legends” honors are: Media Ventures Partners founder (the late) Charles Giddens; Georgia Association of Broadcasters president/National Alliance of State Broadcasters Association president Bob Houghton; Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB legislative reporter Sandra Parrish; Atlanta Public Schools public radio news/talk WABE host Lois Reitzes; and University of Georgia radio studio host/WSB-AM & WSBB director of marketing & research Neal “Hondo” Williamson. They will be recognized at a Jeff Foxworthy-hosted event next month (8/27) in Alpharetta.
Podtrac Releases Weekly Podcast Data. Tracking data of podcasts for Podtrac-measured shows indicates that downloads are down 9% (July 18 – 24) over the previous week, but up 53% over the corresponding period last year. All categories are down week-to-week, with “History” and “Society & Culture” showing the most significant week-to-week decline (-12%). Meanwhile, “Health & Fitness” registers the strongest year-to-year growth, a robust +179%. Across all Podtrac-measured podcasts, download growth (July 19, 2021 – July 24, 2022) was up 53%, while week-over-week download growth (July 18 – 24, 2022) was off 9%. For the 52-week period (July 19, 2021 to July 24, 2022), “Health & Fitness” is +179%; “Comedy” is +100%; “Sports” is +64%; “True Crime” is +54%; “Science” is +52%; “Business” is +51%; “News” is +43%; “Society & Culture” is +39%; “History” is +32%; and “Arts” is flat. Week-over-week download dips (July 18 – 24, 2022) included: -12% (“History”); -12% (“Society & Culture”); -10% (“News”); -10% (“Sports”); -10% (“True Crime”); -9% (“Science”); -7% (“Business”); -7% (“Comedy”); -6% (“Arts”); and -6% (“Health & Fitness”).
SiriusXM, NFL Extend/Expand Their Broadcast Agreement. Under terms of the new five-year extension, SiriusXM becomes the exclusive third-party audio provider of every National Football League game across North America. NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp remarks, “SiriusXM continues to be an important part of the NFL family. [It provides] fans access to live game audio, as well as all news and information around their favorite teams.” SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein notes, “The popularity of the NFL, and the passion of their fans, is extraordinary. Since 2004, the NFL has been an important component of SiriusXM’s programming lineup as we deliver those fans exceptional access to all their favorite teams. We couldn’t be more pleased to now be expanding our relationship with the league, ensuring our listeners will continue to get comprehensive access to the NFL.” Subscribers will continue getting access to every NFL game through Super Bowl LXI (2027) on SiriusXM radio and on the SXM App. The SXM App offers 32 NFL team channels, each dedicated to carrying the official radio broadcast for each NFL team. The satcaster will offer additional team-focused content, including coaches shows, and press conferences to subscribers.
America Amplified “Election 2022” Launches This Week. Funded by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, the America Amplified “Election 2022” initiative helps public media stations in 25 states, including Michigan Radio, ensure that citizens are properly informed to participate in this fall’s local, state and congressional elections. Corporation For Public Broadcasting president/chief executive officer Pat Harrison comments, “Voting is the foundation of a democracy. We want to ensure that all eligible citizens have the information they need to exercise their right to vote. With more than 1,500 locally managed and operated stations, public media is ideally situated to engage all citizens. America Amplified’s listening-first approach will help build trust in the process.” Michigan Radio program director Matt Shafer Powell remarks, “Joining America Amplified gives Michigan Radio the chance to build on our long-standing commitment to engaging and informing our community. We are excited to bring additional resources to better understand what our communities need to know about election processes and election security.” Among the initiative’s community engagement activities is an online tool that allows the public to submit questions related to the election voting process. Questions will be answered using nonpartisan election information sources.
Ken Charles to Step Away from KNX, Los Angeles. News radio programmer Ken Charles announces that he’ll be leaving Audacy’s all-news KNX-AM/FM, Los Angeles when his contract expires on July 22. Charles made the announcement in a Facebook post. He says, “This is one of the hardest emails I have ever written. I’ve made the difficult professional and personal decision not to renew my contract and am stepping down as brand manager for KNX and format VP for Audacy. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the 102-year history of KNX and to lead this amazing group of professionals. I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We’ve covered every type of story imaginable, fires, earthquakes, a global pandemic, protests in the streets, two of the most intense elections ever, a Dodgers World Series victory, a Lakers NBA championship, the Rams first LA Super Bowl title (sorry Kings) and so many more. We celebrated KNX’s 100th anniversary and won the first two national Edward R. Murrow awards in the station’s 54-year all-news history. We’ve evolved the station’s sound, grown our ratings, expanded our digital footprint and become a leader in the company. Finally, we moved KNX to the FM dial and became KNX News 97.1 FM. There are so many of you I want to individually acknowledge and thank for making my seven years at KNX an amazing experience, but I don’t want this to become an Oscar speech and be played off this email. However, I do want to thank my partner in our success, our news director, Julie Chin. None of the above happens without Julie’s help, counsel, insight, friendship and hard work. She will continue to be a steady hand in the continuing success of KNX and keep the momentum we’ve built going.”
New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted. The latest video from the June 10 TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University has been posted. This fireside chat was introduced by John Caracciolo, president/CEO of JVC Broadcasting and featured FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade being interviewed by WPG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley. See the complete video of this session here.
Danny Marang Joins Midday Show at “1080 The Fan” in Portland. Sports media pro Danny Marang is named midday show co-host at Audacy’s sports talk KFXX-AM, Portland “1080 The Fan.” Marang joins longtime station host Dusty Harrah on the new “Danny and Dusty” show that airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Marang is a 10-year Portland media veteran who also hosts “Jacked Ramsays,” a Portland Trail Blazers-focused podcast alongside “1080 The Fan” morning show host Brandon Sprague. Marang previously served as host of Trail Blazers pregame and postgame shows on NBC Sports Northwest and as a writer for SB Nation website “Blazers Edge.” He also served as an operations intelligence officer in the United States Air Force. Audacy Portland SVP and market manager Kim Martinez states, “Danny brings a rich breadth of experience covering this area’s sports scene, and we’re pleased to team him up with Dusty Harrah for the launch of a brand-new midday show. Together, Danny and Dusty will deliver fresh, entertaining and informative content to carry our listeners through their workdays.”
Triton Digital Releases Streaming Rankers for May 2022. The monthly ranker of top performing digital audio publishers for May 2022 has been published by Triton Digital. This ranker is based on Average Active Sessions (AAS) and represents the average number of sessions at any point in time in the reported time period, with invalid sessions omitted. AAS can be calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period (AAS=TLH/Hours in period). For the United States and measuring 6am-12am Mon-Sun, iHeartRadio is ranked #1 with 298,936 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (73,102 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (62,820 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,251 AAS). Other radio-related companies ranking in the top 25 include Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (19,321 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (15,079 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (8,599 AAS), Urban One at #12 (8,357 AAS), and Bonneville International at #14 (6,789 AAS). See the complete ranker here.
New Jersey Theatre Unveils ‘Beasley Media Group Green Room.’ The nonprofit State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick – one of the oldest operating theatres in the state – announces that its green room is now named the “Beasley Media Group Green Room” as part of its Next Stage Campaign. The naming commemorates Beasley Media Group’s commitment to the arts community and longtime support of State Theatre New Jersey, which is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary Season. The extensive renovations at the theatre are helping preserve its rich history while continuing to serve the community as a state-of-the-art cultural center far into the future. The renovations, which were completed in October 2021, included newly renovated lobbies, all new restrooms, upgraded HVAC systems, a new elevator for access to all levels, brand-new theater seats, and renovations to the backstage area, including the green room. Beasley SVP and market manager Dan Finn says, “We are honored and thrilled with the naming of the Beasley Media Group Green Room in the historic and beautiful State Theatre New Jersey. Congratulations to the State Theatre on the success of the Next Campaign and for celebrating the recent milestone of 100 years of live entertainment.”
July 4 Shooting/Gun Control, January 6 Hearings/Georgia Election Probe, The Economy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, and Boris Johnson Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5). The Fourth of July shooting in suburban Chicago that left seven people dead and talk about gun control issues; the January 6 hearings and the subpoenaing of Senator Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani and others in the Georgia investigation into allegations of election interference by former President Donald Trump; the high price of gas & food, the sinking financial markets, and threats of a recession; the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; and Boris Johnson’s tenuous hold on his prime minister position were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Complete Video of ‘Independent Radio Station and Small Group Operations’ Panel Posted. Today, TALKERS magazine posts the third video from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island. This session was moderated by KFNX-AM, Phoenix owner Bill Brady. He was introduced by Binnie Media director of brand operations Michael Czarnecki. Panelists included: Marc Beaven, general manager, WCBM, Baltimore; Paul Gleiser, owner/host, KTBB, Tyler, Texas; Todd Starnes, owner, KWAM, Memphis/host The Todd Starnes Show; Paul Vandenburgh, owner/host, WGDJ, Albany, New York; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO, Santa Cruz, California. See the video here.
Industry Heavyweights Add Insight and Expertise to Introducer Role at TALKERS 2022. A number of talk media professionals served as introducers for panels and presentations at the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University. Though limited to brief speeches due to the jam-packed schedule, they provided informative and relevant introductions to the conference presentations. Pictured below is 1010 WINS, New York morning anchor Lee Harris serving as introducer to the “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Polarization” panel discussion.
Pictured above is Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein introducing the “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” panel at TALKERS 2022.
Audacy Announces Debut of Web3-Focused Program. A new Sunday morning program and podcast from Audacy titled, “Inside Web3,” is being launched. Audacy says that show, hosted by Shira Lazar, will delve into “the latest in cryptocurrency, NFTs, the Metaverse and beyond.” It will air on stations including KNX, Los Angeles “News 97.1 FM”; KIFM-AM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320”; KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan”; and KCBS-AM, San Francisco. Audacy Southern California regional president Jeff Federman says, “We’re thrilled to jump right into this rapidly growing space with the launch of ‘Inside Web3’ and give our listeners a home for smart, informative content every week. Shira has a sharp perspective of the Web3 world, which we trust will resonate with listeners looking to learn more about everything blockchain technology related.” Shira Lazar is the founder and CEO of the Emmy-nominated digital media brand, What’s Trending. She is a Web3 advocate, collector, and advises as well as consults with companies in the space relating to cryptocurrency, NFTs and the metaverse.
Stan Lehr to Retire from WIBC-FM, Indianapolis. News anchor and reporter Stan Lehr will retire from news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis on July 1, according to the Indianapolis Star. Lehr has served with the station for the past 28 years. He joined WIBC before Emmis Communications bought the station. Emmis recently announced that it is selling WIBC and its other Indianapolis stations to Urban One for $25 million. WIBC news director Chris Davis states in a memo to staffers that Lehr has always been known as a “stickler.” “When I say the word stickler, here is what I mean: Though Stan is gifted with a voice that could have taken him far on its own, he has never wanted recognition for that gift. Instead, he made it clear to all who work or have worked with him that strong writing, accuracy and excellence in delivery are the best ways to serve the listeners.”
Dom Giordano Day Celebrated in Wildwood, New Jersey. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia midday talk show host Dom Giordano (left) accepting a gift clock from Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron (right) on Wednesday as June 22 was again declared Dom Giordano Day. Two years ago, Byron designated June 22 Dom Giordano Day for the City. This year, Giordano and his WPHT crew broadcast live from Mulligan’s Shore Bar and Grill.
FOX News Digital Tops in Multiplatform Minutes for May. According to data from Comscore, FOX News Digital finished May 2022 as the top-performing news organization in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes for the 15th consecutive month. FOX News Digital closed out the month reaching over 2.9 billion total multiplatform minutes compared to closest competitor CNN.com with 2.3 million total multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital also topped CNN.com in multiplatform total views, 1.47 billion to 1.43 billion. However, in the category of multiplatform unique visitors, CNN.com dominated with 131.7 million to FOX News Digital’s 80 million.
47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon Held in New York City. Yesterday (6/22), the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 47th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Host Hannah Storm, anchor of “ESPN SportsCenter,” led the program alongside presenters Paul “Cubby” Bryant, Co-Host “106.7 LiteFM Morning Show” with Christine Nagy; Linsey Davis, ABC News Live Prime anchor, Weekend “World News Tonight” anchor, and ABC News Correspondent; Larry O’Connor, Host, “O’Connor & Company on WMAL”; Kate Snow, “NBC Nightly News Sunday,” anchor and NBC News senior national correspondent; and Shelley Wade, Afternoon Host, New York City’s “94.7 The Block” and podcast host “All the Rage with Shelley Wade.” Pictured above is the board of the AWM Foundation with host Hannah Storm and entertainer Hannah Ellis. See the complete list of honorees here.
TALKERS News Notes. Social media platform LinkedIn names Audacy one of its inaugural Top Companies 2022: Media and Entertainment. Through this list, LinkedIn ranks the 25 best companies to grow a career in the industry, aiming to provide a go-to resource for professionals at every stage of their career journeys. Audacy COO Susan Larkin comments, “At Audacy, we strive to not only help propel the audio industry forward but cultivate an organization full of team members who lead that charge. We’re honored to have been recognized by LinkedIn on their list spotlighting media and entertainment companies and sit alongside some of our industry’s best innovators, champions and influencers. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”…..Sounds Profitable, in partnership with Edison Research, has put together a comprehensive study profiling podcast creators in America. Next Tuesday (6/28), the results of the study will be revealed during a 1:00 pm webinar. Sound Profitable and Edison Research say that “The Creators 2022” is the first iteration of a study that will track trends and changes in the podcast creator space annually. “Much of the research in the podcast space up to this point has been related to listening, so ‘The Creators’ will fill a gap in industry knowledge about those who create podcasts.”…..iHeartMedia announces the launch of “Prop Culture” – a first-of-its-kind podcast hosted by iHeartMedia’s very own Non-Fun Squad NFTs and voiced by top comedians and celebrities. The announcement was made at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity during a metaverse and innovation panel featuring Paris Hilton, the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Metaverse.” iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group president Conal Byrne states, “iHeartMedia continues to be on the cutting edge of the audio world. We’re excited to introduce ‘Prop Culture’ at Cannes, pioneering the first-ever podcast series voiced by NFTs. The metaverse is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the audio and podcasting space, and we’re thrilled to be on the forefront of this new frontier.”
The Economy, Gun Legislation, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Supreme Court Term, COVID-19, and Uvalde Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22). High gas & food prices, sinking financial markets, and recession fears; the Senate’s compromise on a gun legislation bill; the ongoing January 6 hearings and the case the Committee is making against Donald Trump; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the toll it’s taking on the world’s economy; the end of the Supreme Court’s term and the expected overturning of Roe v Wade; the appearance of two new Omicron subvariants that are better at evading vaccines; and the investigation of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
By Lyle Gregory
LOS ANGELES — Legendary KABC radio and Los Angeles talk radio personality Michael Jackson died today peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with his beloved children at his bedside, according to a family spokesperson.
One of the most treasured media personalities in Los Angeles, Jackson’s radio career spanned five decades. With his British accent, playful demeanor and keen intellect, Jackson was respected by his peers, politicians, and celebrities and admired by his vast radio audience.