Cumulus to Shutter Arkansas Radio Network. Arkansas Business reports that Cumulus Media is letting the 18 affiliates of its Arkansas Radio Network know that the network that has provided news, sports, and farm market reports for the last 50 years will end that service on March 20. The network is based at Cumulus’ news/talk KARN-FM, Little Rock and the notification was signed by KARN program director Toby Howell. The Arkansas Business piece by Kyle Massey reports that the 30-day notice does not offer a reason for the cessation of the news network but says “insiders and regular listeners said paid advertising has been sparse lately, with public service announcements prominent in ad spots.” The piece says the network had as many as 70 affiliate stations during its zenith in the late 1980s and affiliate count was around 50 stations as recently as a couple of years ago.
Radio Hall of Fame Accepting Nominations Through March 31. The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces that the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee is accepting suggestions for 2022 nominees today through Thursday, March 31, 2022. You can submit your nominations here. The HoF is accepting nominations in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more); Active Local/Regional (10 years or more); Networks/Syndication (10 years or more); Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more); Music Format On-Air Personality; and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We desire the input and suggestions of both industry members and longtime radio listeners, both who have front row seats to radio programs hosted by very deserving air personalities the 2022 nominating committee members should give consideration to.” Nominating committee chair Dennis Green adds, “It is important to hear from those within the industry as well as the listening public to arrive at a deserving list of nominees for the 2022 Radio Hall of Fame Class. We welcome suggestions from around the country as we begin the process that will culminate with the induction of this year’s honorees later this year.” The annual Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to take place in Chicago on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
‘Radio Night Live’ Presents ‘Broadcast for Broadway.’ The WNYM-AM, New York program “Radio Night LIVE with Kevin McCullough” recently presented “Broadcast For Broadway,” a follow-up to the September broadcast aimed at raising awareness of the 15 new shows opening in March and April. In September, the broadcast heralded 12 shows and the reopening of Broadway since the start of the pandemic. The two-hour, special broadcast emanated from longtime Broadway establishment Sardis in the heart of Times Square. The broadcast featured sneak previews of upcoming shows, conversations with Broadway critics and cast and producers from current hits like Come From Away and brand-new shows already receiving nomination rumors, such as Paradise Square. Pictured above are (from l-r): McCullough, original Come From Away cast member Tony LePage, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani assistant Cristyne Nicholas, and Come From Away producer Randy Adams.
‘New Jersey 101.5 Town Hall’ Presents ‘College Alternatives.’ This Thursday (2/24) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in its series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey residents navigate life in the Garden State. Hosted by senior political director Eric Scott, this edition examines alternatives to the traditional four-year degree. Scott says, “New Jersey is facing a real crisis in terms of a skilled labor shortage. These are solid careers, with excellent pay, and don’t come with the debt of a four-year degree. Not everyone needs a four-year degree to have a successful and rewarding career. New Jersey desperately needs workers in skilled trades.” The program’s expert panel will feature: John Tillman, founder of Ecliptic Financial Advisors; Aaron Fichtner, president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges; Chrissy Buteas, chief government affairs officer with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association; and Amy Lombardo, with the New Jersey School Counselor Association. The program will also feature representatives from New Jersey trade unions that run their own certification schools for members.
WMVP-AM, Chicago Adds CDGA Golf Show to Lineup. Chicago sports talk outlet WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” adds the “CDGA Golf Show” to its Sunday lineup in the 7:00 am to 9:00 am slot. The program, hosted by “ESPN 1000” personality Tyler Aki and Chicago District Golfer magazine editor Barry Cronin, allows fans to hear from their favorite golfers throughout the region, as well as news about the professional tours, other major golf events, and more. WMVP director of content Danny Zederman states, “We are excited to partner with The Chicago District Golf Association to create an entertaining and informational show every Sunday morning.”
Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Crime, Trump Social Media App, Arbery Hate Crime Trial, and China’s Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/21). Western condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine incursion after his recognition of separatist provinces; the slowing rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Canada’s prosecution of trucker protesters; November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the politics surrounding the spike in urban crime and homelessness in America’s large cities; the Trump social media app launches amid technical glitches; the jury deliberates in the federal hate crime trial of the three men found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery; and the post-mortem on China’s Winter Olympic Games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The opinion editor of Newsweek, Josh Hammer, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Hammer is also a podcaster, constitutional lawyer, and rising young conservative thought-leader. Newsweek is planning the launch of his new podcast, “The Josh Hammer Show” in February. The one-hour podcast will conform to the format clock of a terrestrial radio show making it conveniently translatable as a syndicated product. Harrison describes Hammer as follows: “At 32 years of age, he has already made a huge splash within the print news community as an editor and political commentator reflective of a young conservative perspective. I suspect he will be doing the same in talk media via radio and podcasting.” Harrison continues, “With such an emphasis being placed on lowering the demos, talk media practitioners – especially conservatives – should hear what he has to say.” Hammer focuses on conservative intellectual trends, contemporary domestic and foreign policy debates, constitutional and legal issues, and the intersection of law, politics and culture. His pieces have appeared in a number of major publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and many others. Harrison and Hammer take a deep-dive into the future of print versus digital, the legal complications of updating Section 230 and holding Big Tech accountable for the control they have seized over the public square, as well as the schism between traditional conservative politics and a viable next-gen approach. They discuss the impact and future of Donald Trump within the GOP and Newsweek’s strategy to appeal to a readership that spans the political spectrum. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Dan Bongino Booted from YouTube; Focuses His Content on Rumble. After violating the terms of his weeklong suspension from YouTube, Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Dan Bongino has been permanently banned from the social media video channel. Bongino shared a video on his website in which he says that he was suspended for saying nothing different than what Dr. Tony Fauci told “60 Minutes” in a March 2020 interview in which he said there’s no need for people to be walking around wearing masks because it’s not providing the protection that people think it is. Bongino questions why he’s being banned but Fauci is not. Bongino’s violation of the suspension came after he tried to post a video explaining to his fans why he’s leaving YouTube and will put all of his content on Rumble. Bongino says he had 871,000 YouTube subscribers and says he has more than 2 million subscribers on the Rumble channel.
Former Florida Sports Talk Host ‘Big Joe’ Ellicott to Cooperate with Feds’ Investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz. According to a report by CNN, Joseph “Big Joe” Ellicott has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and distribution of a controlled substance (Adderall) and has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into allegations that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had sexual contact with a minor. Ellicott previously worked for Star Over Orlando at sports talk WRSO “CBS Sports Radio Orlando” on the “Bauman and Big Joe” program. CNN reports that Ellicott pleaded guilty to the charges that stemmed from “a bribery scheme between an unnamed contractor and an unnamed elected government official. Ellicott delivered $6,000 cash from the contractor to the government official in 2017.” Other media sources are concluding that the unnamed elected government official is his friend Joel Greenberg, a former confidant of Gaetz’s who is also cooperating with investigators in the Gaetz case.
Round Two of Holiday 2021 PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Although the Holiday PPM survey usually reveals listening patterns skewed by stations breaking format to air Christmas music, some spoken-word stations were able to avoid ratings declines. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle was steady with a 6.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that kept it in the #2 rank. Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM rose two-tenths for a 5.5 share finish and climbed to the #3 rank. Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis was up seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish good for the #6 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver added nine-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.8 share and climbed to the #8 rank. You can see all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeways from this group of markets (as well as round one) here.
Religious Broadcasters Hope Media Group and WAY Media to Merge. Religious broadcasting companies Hope Media Group and WAY Media announce their intention to merge into one media organization. The formal merger is expected to close by later this year pending FCC approval. The new Christian media organization will be headquartered in Houston and will operate under the name Hope Media Group. Hope Media Group was founded 40 years ago with radio station KSBJ-FM, Houston. WAY Media was formed 35 years ago with WAYJ-FM, Fort Myers. The companies say this is a merger of equals and a cash-free transaction that received a unanimous vote from both boards of directors. Currently, Hope Media Group is a family of media brands that include Houston-focused KSBJ, the brand-new Spanish Christian “Vida Unida,” digital content outlets NGEN Radio (Christian hip-hop and pop), Hope On Demand and Amen: The Prayer App, plus a concert and event brand, Special Events. WAY Media owns and operates a national network of more than 20 “WayFM” stations in markets that include Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Portland, Nashville, and South Florida plus more than 30 translators from Florida to Washington State, in addition to digital content outlets.
TALKERS News Notes. Streaming audio service TuneIn announces a partnership with Estrella Media to bring its content to the TuneIn platform. In addition, TuneIn has partnered with Grupo Fórmula to bring its Spanish-language entertainment and news content to the platform. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern states, “Both Estrella Media and Grupo Fórmula are market leaders in Spanish-language entertainment and news radio content. We are extremely pleased to be expanding our Spanish-language offerings to a new generation of Latin radio fans and listeners around the world through the TuneIn platform. We’re also thrilled to help Estrella Media’s local stations increase monetization outside of their local markets as an added benefit of our partnership.”…..The Luminary original podcast, “The Roxane Gay Agenda,” launches with writer Dr. Roxane Gay as host and welcoming The New York Times writer Tressie McMillan Cottom and acclaimed author Terry McMillan as her first guests. The program is produced in partnership with iHeartMedia.
Stephen Breyer to Retire, Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Financial Markets/Inflation/Crypto Plunge, Urban Violent Crime Spike, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement and President Joe Biden’s possible nominations; the ongoing tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the Omicron variant infection rate and legal battles over mask & vaccine mandates; fight to control Congress in this November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the turbulent financial markets, the high retail and oil prices and the plummet in cryptocurrency value; the blowback against liberal law & order polices as violent crime in America’s major cities surges; and the Beijing Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Health, Wealth and Stealth,” looks back at this past week of 12/6 – 12/10. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Mandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network / physician; Paul Vandenburgh, talk show host / owner, Talk 1300, Albany, NY; Scott Hennen, talk show host / owner, WZFG, Fargo; and Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder, Scamicide.com. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
WMAL-FM, Washington Raised $393,622 During Fisher House Radiothon. Washington, DC news/talk station WMAL-FM raised $393,622 to benefit the Fisher House Foundation during last week’s two-day WMAL Operation Fisher House Radiothon, topping last year’s amount by $25,000. Cumulus Media says WMAL’s listeners have donated nearly $8 million dollars over the last 19 years to support the efforts of the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing to families of injured military members who are undergoing treatment. Group homes at Bethesda, Walter Reed, the VA, Dover AFB, and more than 60 locations across the country provide a comfortable place for loved ones to live while remaining close to their injured family members. Fisher House Foundation chairman and CEO Ken Fisher says, “WMAL’s partnership over the last 19 years has been incredible. Their generous audience has given nearly $8 million, having a tremendous impact on military and veteran families. We are forever grateful.” WMAL program director and Cumulus VP/news/talk Bill Hess says, “The stories are compelling and inspiring, and the response from our WMAL listeners demonstrates the strong relationship between our talent and listeners. It’s the perfect start to the holiday season.”
Podtrac Ranks PodcastOne Among Top Podcast Publishers. According to a ranking by Podtrac, LiveOne’s PodcastOne is named to the list of Top Podcast Publishers. PodcastOne notes that Podtrac “provides the podcast industry’s only ranking of top publishers based on unique audience counts.” PodcastOne enters the listings ranked #12 as one of only two independent podcasting publishers in the Top 15. PodcastOne says its ranking “comes on the heels of the successes and strengths of tentpole podcasts ‘Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe,’ ‘The Jordan Harbinger Show,’ ‘LADYGANG’ and ‘The Adam Carolla Show,’ as well as acquisitions of top performing programs such as ‘Baby Mamas No Drama,’ ‘True Crime All the Time Unsolved,’ and ‘This Is MONSTERS,’ which all saw significant audience growth since joining PodcastOne.” PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Being recognized by Podtrac with inclusion on the Top Publishers list is a testament to the hard work of the PodcastOne team both behind the mic and behind the scenes. We’re on track to post even bigger numbers in 2022 with a goal in mind to crack the Top 10 list.”
BBC’s Dylan Haskins Named to New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announces that BBC’s Dylan Haskins is appointed to the NYF Radio Awards Advisory Board. Haskins serves as commissioning executive for podcasts for BBC Sounds & BBC Radio 5 Live. He’s the 14th member of the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board, a brain trust of executives comprised of some of the radio industry’s most respected content creators and broadcast leaders from around the globe. These thought-leaders generously provide NYF’s Radio Awards with ongoing knowledge of emerging trends, critical industry insights, and a global perspective. Haskins says, “It’s a great honor to be asked to join the Advisory Board of the New York Festivals Radio Awards and to have the opportunity to help shape and advise the awards during such an exciting period of evolution in audio creativity, innovation, investment and audience habits. As a commissioner for a public service broadcaster, it’s also a time of challenge and competition from new commercial players but, in my experience, this is leading us all to be more ambitious, to go bigger on what makes us distinctive and to experiment and collaborate more where there are shared aims. All of this means radio and podcasts have never been better and a competition like the New York Festivals helps recognize this.” 2022 will be the 12th year New York Festivals has partnered with the annual NAB Show. This strategic partnership provides all attendees to the April 26, 2022, Storyteller’s Gala access to the multi-day NAB event. NAB is the ultimate marketplace for people passionate about media, entertainment, and technology. All Entries in the 2022 competition will be judged online by NYF’s Radio Awards Grand Jury of 200-plus producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from around the globe. Award-winning entries will be showcased on the Radio Awards winners gallery. You can see the 2021 winner’s gallery here. Meanwhile, the deadline to enter the 2022 Radio Awards competition is February 9, 2022. See information about the competition and enter here.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WGN, Chicago personality Nick Digilio is launching two new podcasts. In mid-January, the twice-weekly show “The Nick D Podcast” will debut. It will be a roundup of entertainment and pop culture, including reviews of movies, music, TV and books. His first guest will be Rich “Svengoolie” Koz. Digilio will then launch, “That Show Hasn’t Been Funny In Years: An SNL Podcast,” obviously focusing on the history of “Saturday Night Live” over its 47-year run. Both podcasts are produced by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network…..Red Apple Media is rolling out a national syndication initiative for its personalities heard on WABC, New York. The company has produced a series of video promos for the hosts and you can see them here……Westwood One is presenting play-by-play of one of college football’s oldest and most-storied rivalries, the Army–Navy game, presented by USAA and taking place tomorrow (12/11) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at 2:00 pm ET. The game is being called by John Sadak and Ross Tucker with Tina Cervasio handling sideline reporting duties and Jason Horowitz hosting the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows…..Audacy announces the launch of “Tapped Out,” a new MMA and boxing-focused show on BetQL Network. The show is co-hosted by Brendan Tobin, morning show host on WAXY, Miami “790 AM The Ticket” and Sean Levine, host on KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio.” The show airs Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET…..SiriusXM and Pandora are teaming up with Audible to create “Chapter and Verse,” a new programming series that will blend conversations with some of the world’s top authors and the music and artists that inspire them. Listeners will hear directly from authors Nicholas Sparks, Wendy Walker, and Jonathan Maberry as they talk about their latest literary project and the unique, essential role that music plays in their work. Pandora VP of original digital content programming Bill Crandall says, “This new series brings our listeners more of what they love the most – great music and the personal, one-of-a-kind stories from some of the best storytellers around. We’re looking forward to hearing from some of the most popular writers and sharing their journeys and voices with our audiences.”
COVID-19 Variants, Vaccines, Mandates & Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 6-10. The COVID-19 Omicron variant, vaccine mandates and the politics surrounding the pandemic combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the supply chain backup, the labor shortage, inflation, and President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Bill, followed by the January 6 investigation and Donald Trump’s influence on GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.