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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

| February 22, 2022

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.

Friday, October 29, 2021

| October 29, 2021

WTAM, Cleveland Legend Mike Trivisonno Passes at 74. The Cleveland operations of iHeartMedia announce that longtime WTAM-AM talk host Mike Trivisonno has died. A statement from the company says: “It is with heavy hearts that WTAM 1100 announces the passing of radio legend and current talk show host, Mike Trivisonno. He was 74 years old. Trivisonno, a Cleveland native, began his talk radio career in 1986. Since his days as ‘Mr. Know-it-All,’ Triv has been voted ‘Best Talk Show Host’ by Scene Magazine and The Achievement in Radio Awards. The Cleveland Plain Dealer named him the ‘Voice of Cleveland,’ Cleveland Magazine named him ‘One of Cleveland’s Fifty Most Interesting People,’ and he was a 2003 NAB Marconi finalist for ‘Personality of the Year.’ Triv proudly raised over $5 million dollars for local charities during his career, including Coats for Kids, whom he hosted his annual ‘Vegas Show Benefit’ in support of. Although ‘The Voice of Cleveland’ has been silenced, his impact on Cleveland will be felt and heard for years to come. All of us here at WTAM send our love and support to his family during this difficult time. We will bring you more details as we receive them, including information on memorials.”

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, “War of the Words,” looks back at this past week of 10/25 – 10/29. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyArmstrong & Getty, talk show co-hosts, independently syndicated; Glenn Jacobs, mayor of Knox County, TN/former world heavyweight champion wrestler (Kane), WWE. 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 NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer 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.

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Rises 9%. Satellite and digital broadcaster SiriusXM revealed its financial results for the third quarter of 2021 and reports revenue of $2.2 billion, an increase of 9% compared to the prior year period. The company recorded net income of $343 million in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $272 million in the same period a year ago. SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz says, “By adding a record 616,000 net new SiriusXM self-pay subscribers in the third quarter, we attained our prior full-year guidance of approximately 1.1 million net additions in just nine months. We are increasing all of our financial guidance for 2021 and expect to add more than 1.1 million net new self-pay SiriusXM subscribers this year, making 2021 our best for self-pay subscriber growth since 2018. During the quarter, we saw continued low monthly churn and outstanding ARPU performance in the SiriusXM business, and we are also making important progress driving advertising growth at Pandora.”

Nielsen Revenue Increases 5.5% in Q3 of 2021. Reporting its financial data for the third quarter of 2021, Nielsen Holdings Plc says revenue increased 5.5% to $882 million on a reported basis. Net income from continuing operations attributable to Nielsen shareholders increased 18.2% to $117 million, compared to $99 million in the third quarter of 2020. Nielsen CEO David Kenny comments, “We are pleased with our strong third quarter results, building on our track record of execution and demonstrating continued progress on our strategic growth plan. In Audience Measurement, clients see the value in our enhanced and expanded products, and it is driving strong performance across national media and digital-first clients. In Outcomes and Content, growth was driven, in part, by improving trends post-COVID, and we are continuing to build on our global leadership position. Our updated guidance today reflects our strong performance year to date and confidence in our ability to deliver on our objectives.”

iHeartMedia Executive Tony Coles Joins Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Radio executive Tony Coles is joining the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The press release says Coles – who serves iHeartMedia as division president of Metro Markets and president of Black Information Network – brings “expertise in media and a passion for mentorship, especially in reaching communities of color, to BBBSA to increase equity and make a lasting impact on the lives of young people.” He most recently worked with BBBSA in securing music artists Blanco Brown and Parmalee as special guests for the organization’s virtual national conference, to bring awareness about the need for more mentors. Coles says, “When I think about the impact mentors have played in my life, I am grateful for those who poured into me and encouraged me to achieve the goals I set for myself — personally and professionally. I am excited to join a powerful board of committed individuals who are focused on making sure the next generation is equipped and prepared for life.”

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Wraps Up ‘Talktoberfest.’ The second annual “WBT Talktoberfest” wrapped up last night (10/28) at Radio One’s “News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT” in Charlotte. WBT program director Mike Schaefer says this year’s “Talktoberfest” expanded on the 2020 event in which WBT host and former Governor Pat McCrory chatted virtually with Key Networks syndicated talk icon Bill O’Reilly. This year, each Thursday in “Talktober” two of WBT’s personalities met virtually for an hour or so with listeners in a fun “ask us anything” forum on the station’s Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube platforms. The first episode brought together morning drive host Bo Thompson and the newest member of the team, 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm host Pete Kaliner, discussing everything from their local roots to Pete’s return to WBT to host in the daypart formerly held by Rush Limbaugh, to pizza. The second edition was more news focused as WBT news reporters Mark Garrison and “Breaking” Brett Jensen broke down the biggest local news stories in Charlotte and North Carolina. Week three featured late morning and afternoon drive hosts Vince Coakley and Brett Winterble with a discussion that leaned heavily towards national politics, with discussions of Vince’s previous run for Congress and Brett’s time as a member of the Rush Limbaugh show team. The “Talktoberfest” finale featured an extended version of the station’s twice-daily “AM/PM” discussions with Bo Thompson and Brett Winterble.  Schaefer says, “WBT’s Talktoberfest 2021 was a fun, unpredictable series driven largely by the participation of our loyal listeners! We’re excited to see how the event will evolve in 2022!”

Nielsen and SCBA: The Power of Impressions for the Radio Industry. A recent study by Nielsen – commissioned by the Southern California Broadcasters Association – shows the power of impressions-based buying for the radio industry, according to the SCBA. The study reveals that agencies are increasingly using impressions to evaluate media, and the usefulness of impressions to evaluate radio and digital using a common metric. According to the study, the benefits of impressions-based buying (how many times an ad was heard) offers increased granularity over ratings (how many people were listening during a given time period) and adds value to more dayparts and easier comparison across markets. It also gives audio and digital platforms the ability to capture all of their audiences no matter where content is consumed.  Additionally, the study showed that impressions also provide a brand safe environment for advertisers looking for premium impressions at the local level. Other highlights include: 1) The shift to buying on impressions is accelerating. In fact, 54% of agency professionals are now buying on impressions; 2) Buying on CPM levels the playing field, where supply and demand determine pricing rather than market size; and 3) The line between radio and digital is starting to blur, and impressions are key to evaluating radio station app and website audiences. SCBA president Miles Sexton says, “The importance of combining radio and digital advertising effectively cannot be overstated, and impressions are clearly where the industry is headed. As radio continues to evolve within the digital ecosystem, the building blocks of a successful cross-platform campaign will include impressions.” See more here.

Radio Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2021. The 2021 Radio Hall of Fame inductees were honored at last night’s ceremony held at Chicago’s Wintrust Grand Banking Hall. Eight radio professionals were inducted, including talk personalities Kim Komando (pictured here with Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin) and sports talk host Dan Patrick. Additionally, 33 late broadcasters were inducted as part of the Legends Class of 2021 that included: Dr. Joy Browne, Barry Gray, and Dr. Toni Grant. Last night’s program was hosted by Jonathon Brandmeier with Hall of Famer Jim Bohannon also doing announcing duties throughout the show. Photo: David Kindler Photography.

Federal Budget Negotiations Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 25 – 29. The negotiations over President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social spending bills was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of the U.S. economy, the supply chain disruption, inflation, and labor issues. Following at #3 was COVID-19 vaccines, masks & mandates, and the politics and school board issues surrounding the pandemic. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result on ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Saturday, October 30 Marks the 83rd Anniversary of Historic ‘War of the Worlds’ Radio Broadcast. With concerns over so-called fake news, “deepfakes,” and algorithm manipulation in the zeitgeist, this Saturday (10/30) marks the anniversary of the original “deepfake of 1938,” when more than eight decades ago, “War of The Worlds,” Orson Wells’ radio drama about an alien invasion theatrically presented as “breaking news,” reportedly scared the daylights out of the nation (and many claim that even the level of hyperbole surrounding those reports were fake news about fake news). The story about this event is extremely well-covered in today’s (10/28) posting of the premiere episode of Season 2 of the hit podcast series, “We Interrupt This Broadcast.” ATTENTION PROGRAMMERS: this is a great, last minute Halloween radio special in a bottle. The show’s producers are offering news/talk radio stations and broadcasters who read TALKERS free access to the podcast and use of any or all of its production elements to tie in with the event’s connection to Halloween. Here is a link to the “War of The Worlds” episode: The War of The Worlds: The Original Deep Fake of 1938. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact the podcast’s producer Joe Garner at jgarner@garnercreative.com or 818-439-6771.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

| August 24, 2021

Emmis Announces Promotions at ‘The Fan’ and WIBC-FM in Indy. At Emmis Communications in Indianapolis, the company announces a series of promotions and changes in the programming department that largely affect sports talk “93.5 FM & 107.5 FM The Fan.” David Wood remains vice president of programming for the entire Emmis Indianapolis cluster and he adds programming responsibilities of both “The Fan” and news/talk WIBC-FM. Wood previously programmed “The Fan” from 2010-2013. Todd Meyer is promoted to assistant program director of “The Fan” from his previous role as executive producer. Matt Hibbeln continues in his role as assistant program director for WIBC-FM and will assume additional programming responsibilities. Emmis Indianapolis market president Taja Graham states, “Collectively, these three Emmis programming veterans have more than 60 years of experience at Emmis Indianapolis and have all shown an enduring commitment to these iconic Indianapolis brands. The continuity they bring, coupled with their creativity and hard work, will ensure Emmis Indianapolis continues to grow and serve as the market leader.”

Rachel Vigil Named Digital Host/Producer at ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk outlet KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” announces that Rachel Vigil joins the station as its new digital host/producer. Bonneville Denver says Vigil’s content will be distributed on the station’s social media platforms and website, DenverFan.com. She’ll also be making regular radio appearances with 104.3 The Fan’s on-air talent. Vigil was most recently serving with the Western Athletic Conference, where she spent the past three years as their on-air talent and broadcasting coordinator. Also, during the past three years, she worked as host and reporter for Kroenke Sports and Entertainment’s Colorado Rapids, including with Altitude Sports. KKFN-FM program director Raj Sharan says, “Rachel’s infectious personality and lifelong passion for Denver sports just explodes through the camera and onto your screen. We can’t wait to watch her creativity run wild creating all types of content as the face of The Fan’s digital brand.”

Edison Research: Streaming Accounts for 12% of Radio Listening. According to data from the most recent Share of Ear study from Edison Research, 12% of all AM/FM radio listening is being done via streaming, while 88% of listening is to an over-the-air radio signal. Edison Research director of research Laura Ivey says, “There are many outlets for Americans to listen to free broadcast radio, including the smartphones that we know are ubiquitous in our population. To realize growth, radio has to capitalize on its content being available beyond just a traditional radio receiver. We know that the pandemic has shifted U.S. listeners from their cars, where traditional radio is easily available, to their homes, where radio must be accessed on different devices. The challenge is how to convince listeners to follow radio content on different devices – radio not on ‘a radio.’” See more about Share of Ear here.

Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2021 Inductees Plus 33 Legends of Radio to Take Their Place in the HoF. The Museum of Broadcast Communications reveals the eight new inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2021 as well as a new class of Legacy inductees. The 2021 Radio Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the in-person 2021 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, October 28, at Chicago’s Wintrust Grand Banking Hall. This year’s inductees are: Brother Wease Radio 95.1, Rochester, Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more); Elliot Segal – DC 101, Washington, Active Local/Regional (10 years or more); Dan Patrick – The Dan Patrick Show,  Longstanding Networks/Syndication (20 years or more); Kim Komando – The Kim Komando Show, Active Network/Syndication (10 Years or more); Javier Romero – WAMR-FM/Amor 107.5, Music Format On-Air Personality;  Preston & Steve – 93.3 WMMR, Philadelphia, Spoken Word On-Air Personality; Erica Farber, President and CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; and Bill Siemering, Founding Director of Programming and Founding Member of the Board of Directors, NPR. In addition, to honor the 100th year of radio, the Radio Hall of Fame has established a Legends induction, recognizing the talents and efforts of air personalities, programmers and operators who although they have died, spent their lives contributing their talents to the industry. While the industry celebrates 100 years of existence, the industry’s Hall of Fame is only 33 years into existence. The centennial milestone provides an opportunity to recognize the talents and efforts of 33 individuals in 2021, as well. Late spoken-word broadcasters in this group include: Dr. Joy Browne, syndicated talk radio air personality based from WOR-AM, New York; Barry Gray, talk radio air personality in 1940-1980s in New York on WOR and WMCA; and Toni Grant, talk radio air personality in Los Angeles in 1970-1980s on KABC-AM and others via syndication. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin states, “I’m thrilled to welcome this deserving Class of 2021 and look forward to celebrating their inductions in late October in Chicago. In addition, it’s my honor to announce and recognize the talents of individuals who provided the foundation for so much of our industry’s success but have not been yet recognized by this institution. These individuals have earned their place within the Radio Hall of Fame. We used the opportunity of this medium’s 100th anniversary to undertake a review of the industry’s past performers and operators, to identify a select group of industry legends that left us before they could be properly recognized. We honor their contributions and their memory by these inductions.” See more about the inductees here.

Glenn Beck Show Helps Raise $27 million for Rescue of Christians in Afghanistan. The nationally syndicated “Glenn Beck Program” is working with his Nazarene Fund to raise money to rescue the estimated 5,000 Christians – mostly women and children – trapped in Afghanistan. Last week, Beck asked listeners to his Premiere Networks show to “give until it hurts” with the goal of raising $20 million by Friday. Through Beck’s non-profit Mercury One, The Nazarene Fund works to rescue Christians and other religious minorities from persecution and slavery in the Middle East and across the globe. His listeners responded and by the end of Thursday’s radio program, donations reached $13 million, and by Friday morning, they exceeded $20 million. To date, the total raised is $27 million. Beck says, “In times like these, what I believe to be the greatest audience ever assembled, has given me, the Afghan people, and the world, something so important right now – HOPE. It’s the power of one.”

TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday (8/26), at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey deal with the ongoing pandemic. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott leads the news and digital departments in helping New Jersey get ready to return to the classroom after more than a year of remote and hybrid learning. He says, “From learning loss to social anxiety, students will be dealing with many issues as they go back to school. We will provide clarity on a variety of topics from mask mandates to after-school activities and sports.” The program’s on-air panel will feature: Richard Bozza, executive director at the New Jersey Association of School Administrators; Dr. Steven Tobias, a noted child psychologist and the director of the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown; and representatives from the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union. Scott and his guests will also answer live, call-in questions from listeners throughout the hour…..Independent Broadcasters Association members will have the opportunity to hear from Michael Doyle “The Sales MD” this Thursday (8/26) at 4:00 pm ET during a sales webinar. IBA CEO Ron Stone says, “Michael Doyle is the man behind many of radio’s biggest sales success stories over the past 25 years and he will share his thoughts on how radio can take advantage of the sales landscape post COVID-19 in this IBA members only webinar.”…..SiriusXM talk personality Joe Madison will co-emcee this weekend’s March On For Voting Rights in Washington DC with R&B singer and radio host Al B. Sure! The two hosts will lead a day-long march through Washington, DC and the speaker’s program which will include human and civil rights leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and many others who will issue a call to action to pass federal voting rights legislation.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces 2021 Leadership Awards. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the recipients of the 2021 Leadership Awards that are given annually in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large. The Awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast, 7:00 am, Tuesday, October 12 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show. This year’s honorees are: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO, Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton, retired, EVP, media relations, National Association of Broadcasters. The Broadcasters Foundation will also present the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award during the Breakfast. That honoree will be announced shortly.

Afghanistan, COVID-19, Global Shipping Woes, Flooding & Wildfires, Newsom Recall, and Hochul Replaces Cuomo Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/23). The U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban’s takeover, and the blame being laid on President Joe Biden; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the battle over mask and vaccine mandates, and the Pfizer vaccine gets FDA approval; the COVID-affected global shipping network and its effect on retail supplies; the deadly flooding in Middle Tennessee and the wildfires ravaging California; the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom; and Kathy Hochul takes over for Andrew Cuomo as governor of New York were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

| March 9, 2021

WJFK-FM, Washington at Center of Washington Football Team Investigation Controversy. As Mike Florio reports in Yahoo! Sports, Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington reported on Friday (3/5) that the NFL-ordered investigation into the culture of the Washington Football Team organization – especially regarding allegations of sexual harassment from women – led by attorney Beth Wilkinson has concluded that owner Daniel Snyder should be forced to sell the team. However, yesterday (3/8) the station issued a retraction because the NFL says the story is untrue and it has not yet received the Wilkinson report. The question is whether WJFK-FM received a stolen copy of the report or if Wilkinson herself tipped the radio station. In its statement, WJFK-FM said, “We do believe in the authenticity of the documents we reviewed, and that they are from the Wilkinson investigation, but we are unable to confirm that the report was a final draft or that it had been delivered to the League Office. As soon as we are able to report anything further on this, we will let you know — both as to what occurred in our Friday report and regarding the Wilkinson investigation generally.”

Radio Hall of Fame Announces Nomination Period Is Open. The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces that the Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee is now accepting suggestions for 2021 nominees through March 31. Suggestions for Radio Hall of Fame nominees can be made 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’re looking forward to celebrating the lifelong talents and career milestones of some of radio’s greatest! The first part of our annual process is fielding suggestions from listeners and industry members alike. It’s our priority to provide everyone the opportunity to be a part of this process.” Inductees will be honored at the annual Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with plans to be held live in Chicago at a date to be announced later this year.

AdLarge Promotes Two Executives. Two AdLarge vice presidents are being promoted to senior vice president. Donelle Brown rises to SVP of marketing insights & client relations and Ilwira Marciszek becomes SVP, head of revenue operations and digital sales. In her new role, Donelle Brown will continue to drive marketing strategy and messaging across terrestrial and digital audio channels, as well as overall company branding and communications. Ilwira Marciszek will continue to focus on sales operations, tech, and partner relationships that drive revenue for the company. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “[Co-CEO] Gary [Schonfeld] and I are so fortunate to have not only one but two phenomenal leaders on our team that have played such a significant role in the success of this company. Their enthusiasm and diligence have been instrumental in our growth in both radio and podcasting. We could not be prouder to recognize their hard work, talent, and dedication.”

Edison Research: Ownership of Smart Speakers Up 22%. According to data from Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2021, 33% of all Americans now own a smart speaker, a 22% increase from 2020, with those working from home even more likely to own one of the devices. Forty-nine percent of Americans who work from home own at least one smart speaker such as an Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or other brand. Edison will reveal more data from the research project at Thursday’s 2:00 pm ET webinar. It says The Infinite Dial 2021 report “provides the most up-to-date research on U.S. digital audio and podcast consumption, while reflecting the effects of a global pandemic and quarantine restrictions on audio and other digital media behaviors.” You can register here.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ to Hold Unemployment Town Hall. News/talk WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting a digital-exclusive town hall this Thursday (3/11) at 7:00 pm to address the issue of out-of-work residents struggling to get unemployment benefits. The half-hour program will be hosted by New Jersey 101.5 morning news anchor and director of special projects Eric Scott featuring New Jersey Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo answering previously submitted questions from residents. Scott says, “Despite New Jersey distributing over $30 billion in jobless aid since the pandemic began, there are still tens of thousands who have received no benefits. Our goal is to connect those individuals with the help they need to get their claims processed.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk host Larry Elder is the subject of a piece in the monthly magazine Chronicles, published by the Charlemagne Institute – dedicated to “defending and advancing Western Civilization.” Salem Radio Network’s Elder is profiled in the piece and author Roger D. McGrath praises Elder’s recent documentary film Uncle Tom…..According to a story in the New York Post, Greg Kelly is joining Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York to serve as early afternoon host while Curtis Sliwa is on a leave of absence while he runs for mayor of New York. Kelly is currently also host of the “Greg Kelly Reports” program seen at 7:00 pm ET on Newsmax TV…..iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during Deutsche Bank’s “29th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference 2021” tomorrow (3/10) at 1:00 pm ET.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Stimulus Bill, Voting Rights Issues, Andrew Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations, Migrant Surge, Capitol Riot Investigation, Derek Chauvin Trial, Harry & Meghan Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/8). The rate of positive COVID cases in the U.S., worries about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; the Biden COVID stimulus bill goes back to the House for a final vote; Joe Biden’s voting rights bill and bills being written to curtail voting accessibility in several states; the growing number of sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot; the Minneapolis trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin; and the Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan interview were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, November 11, 2019

| November 11, 2019

2019 Radio Hall of Famers Inducted. On Friday evening at Gotham Hall in New York City, nine radio broadcasters were enshrined in the Radio Hall of Fame.  Inductees Jim Rome, Joe Madison, Sean Hollywood Hamilton, Harry Harrison, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter, John Tesh, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Ryan Seacrest represented the class of 2019 at the ceremony that included 2018 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Mike Francesa as Master of Ceremonies.  Fellow RHOF inductees Jim Bohannon, Jim Kerr, and Kid Kelly were in attendance along with celebrity introducers actor Christian Slater (for Hollywood Hamilton), actress Connie Selleca (for husband John Tesh), and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon (for his friend Ryan Seacrest).  Jim Bohannon served as announcer of the event.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and his wife, professor/author Bernadette Duncan, were among the hundreds of industry luminaries, friends and family in attendance.  “It was a truly memorable evening in a dazzling setting that was a heartfelt celebration of radio and the special breed of talented people who have literally been breathing life into it golden age after golden age,” says Harrison. “We salute the dedicated work of Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin, vice chairman Dennis Green, and the entire nominating committee for organizing and presenting such a deeply meaningful event honoring an indisputably deserving Class of 2019.”  Harrison adds, “One of the most noble deeds any organization, platform or individual can perform for an artistic community such as our beloved radio industry – especially as it reaches the extraordinary milestone of its 100th anniversary in a rapidly changing world – is to give credit where credit is due.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Jim Rome, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Ryan Seacrest, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Joe Madison, Kevin Ryder, Gene “Bean” Baxter, Harry Harrison (seated), and John Tesh.  Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Radio Hall of Fame

From the 2019 Radio Hall of Fame Induction. Above, wheelchair-bound Harry Harrison in the audience watches his children Patti and Patrick make an emotional presentation inducting him into the Radio Hall of Fame.

From the 2019 Radio Hall of Fame Induction. Inductee Joe Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio with his old friend, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.

Louisiana Judge Denies Felony Arrest Warrant for Former WWL, New Orleans Sports Talk Host Seth Dunlap.  The Times-Picayune reports that last week, a New Orleans Police Department detective investigating the case involving former WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans sports talk host Seth Dunlap was denied a warrant to arrest him on a felony count of extortion.  Regular TALKERS readers who’ve been following this case remember that after the official WWL Twitter account posted a gay slur against the openly homosexual Dunlap on September 10, an Entercom investigation appeared to indicate Dunlap sent the tweet via his phone, although Dunlap’s lawyer says Dunlap did not have access to the account and didn’t have its password.  She also says Dunlap took a lie detector test and passed.  Subsequent talks between Entercom and Dunlap’s legal team reportedly included Dunlap’s request for $1.8 million to settle his charge against the station of allowing a hostile workplace environment.  Entercom turned the case over to the NOPD and the cops got a warrant to search Dunlap’s phone.  In last week’s ruling, Magistrate Commissioner Robert Blackburn said the evidence presented didn’t rise to the level of the definition of felony extortion.  The NOPD says the case is still “active and ongoing.”  Dunlap, through his attorney, has vowed to sue WWL over the hostile workplace matter.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format.  Less than 25% of news/talk stations suffered a (weekly 6+ AQH share) ratings drop-off from the September survey to the October survey.  Gainers were led by Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+2.4).  Comparing year-over-year numbers, 51% of stations on our panel are down, while just 37% see their ratings go up.  News/talkers up over last year include: Entercom’s WCCO, Minneapolis; iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach; Cumulus Media’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City; and iHeartMedia’s WREC, Memphis.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: That First Call.  As programming cutbacks continue, smart on-air people are involved in advertising sales.  In this week’s column consultant Holland Cooke shares tips for getting – and making the most of – face time with prospects.  Read it here.

Impeachment Proceedings/Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, Hong Kong Protests, Veterans Day Holiday, Berlin Wall Falls Anniversary, Looming Bitter Cold Weather, and Australia Bushfires/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment process against President Trump and the testimony about President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the weekend’s violent protests in Hong Kong; the Veterans Day holiday; the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; the bitter cold temperatures forecast for parts of the U.S. this week; the devastating bushfires affecting Australia’s eastern coast and the role of climate change in that country’s drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that Stephen A. Smith has inked a new deal with ESPN – a five-year pact that will pay him about $8 million per year.  As TALKERS reported last week, Smith is giving up his midday radio show on the ESPN Radio network at the end of the year.  He’ll continue to appear on the cable channel’s “First Take” and will make more appearances on “SportsCenter” and on NBA coverage…..The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Rob Tornoe writes that Philadelphia sports media personality Rob Ellis is returning to local TV as co-host of a new show on KYW-TV called, “Odds On,” with station sports anchor Pat Gallen.  The sports-betting themed, 30-minute program will air Sundays at 8:30 am.  Ellis will continue to handle fill-in duties for Entercom’s WIP-FM.  He’s been sitting in for the convalescing Big Daddy Graham on the overnight show.  He previously served with NBC Sports Philadelphia for 17 years…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WVON, Chicago afternoon talk host Cliff Kelley is being honored in “An Amazing Tribute to Cliff Kelley” on Saturday (11/16) at Parkway Ballroom, in Chicago.   Kelley spent 25 years with the Midway Broadcasting urban news/talk station in both the morning and afternoon drive dayparts.  He retired from the station last March.

WRKO, Boston Raises $230,000-plus for Disabled American Veterans. Last Friday (11/8), iHeartMedia Boston news/talk “AM 680 WRKO, The Voice of Boston” raised more than $230,000 to benefit the Disabled American Veterans Department of Massachusetts during the DAV radiothon that took place from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.  iHeartMedia Boston VP of news/talk Rob Sanchez says, “Since our nation’s inception, our military men and women have sacrificed their own lives for our freedom.  It’s an honor for AM 680 WRKO to have this opportunity to show respect for our veterans with the help of our generous listeners.  And to raise $233,593 this year is incredibly gratifying.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): DAV-AM director of public relations Robert Lynch, WRKO APD Jarred Diglio, DAV-MA adjutant/CEO Dan Stack, and WRKO morning host Jeff Kuhner.

KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner Michael Zwerling is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The long-time owner of news/talk heritage station KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA, Michael Zwerling, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Zwerling, known throughout the radio industry as one of the last of the fiercely independent owner/operators, is described by TALKERS publisher Harrison as “an extremely colorful, quirky, eccentric, and intelligent lover of radio – a refreshing counterpoint to the budget-obsessed, community-indifferent, mega-corporate mentality that has consumed the decision-making processes of much of today’s industry.”  In a free-wheeling conversation between two old friends, MH and MZ discuss the changing nature of Freedom of Speech and challenges facing the First Amendment in the 21st century digital era, plus more.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column on every page of the TALKERS email newsletter.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WPXY-FM, Rochester air personality Brianna “Breezy” Sloth is promoted at the Entercom CHR outlet to morning drive co-host alongside morning radio pro Corey James on the “#TeamPXY” show.   Entercom Rochester SVP and market manager Sue Munn comments, “Breezy has an undeniable work ethic and tenacity while delivering her one-of-a-kind, friendly and outgoing personality on the air.  She has a real familiarization with our station, this market and its devoted listeners, and we’re thrilled to have her on board.”  Breezy joined ‘98 PXY’ as an intern for the station’s morning show in 2017. Following her graduation from SUNY Oswego, she assumed various roles for the station, including in promotions and programming as WPXY’s evening show host, morning show fill-in host, and morning and evening drive traffic reporter…..Entercom assigns programming duties for country KMNB, Minneapolis to WUSN, Chicago PD Kenny Jay in the aftermath of the recent departure of KMNB PM drive host and programmer Lucas Phelan.  Jay will continue to work from the company’s Chicago offices…..Programming pro Dylan Salisbury is leaving his APD/music director role at Cumulus Media’s CHR WZPL-FM, Indianapolis for a gig soon-to-be-announced.  Cumulus Indy operations manager J.R. Ammons says in a memo to staff, “During his two years at ZPL, Dylan has proven to be a smart, strategic, passionate programmer and I will miss our music arguments every Monday.  Please join me in congratulating Dylan on this well-deserved promotion; his last day will be next Friday the 15th. Until a permanent replacement is named, Zakk Babb will be filling in on ZPL.”…..Pictured below in New York City on Friday night (11/8) is pop radio icon Ryan Seacrest being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame  by “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.