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Thursday, April 14, 2022

| April 14, 2022

Jim Bohannon is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most honored, celebrated and longest-running active radio personalities in American broadcasting, Jim Bohannon, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” His show airs every night between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am ET delivering his unique brand of wit and wisdom on more than 300 stations via Westwood One. A member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred list since its inception in the early 90s, he was a recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Among his many achievements, Bohannon is an inductee in the Radio Hall of Fame and is about to be inducted in the NAB Hall of Fame at the NAB Show later this month in Las Vegas. Harrison and Bohannon take a deep dive into this Vietnam War veteran’s colorful career as well as exploring their panoramic perspective of radio and related media’s past, present, and future. This is not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Gabfest at Mar-a-Lago. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and his wife Bernadette Duncan attended a dinner/discussion last night (4/13) hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Former President Donald Trump joined the chat (pictured above) which covered a variety of topics including the Russia-Ukraine War, Section 230, and the coming midterm elections. Participants included a dozen luminaries from politics, media, business and religion. Pictured at right: Harrison (l), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (c), and Newsmax radio/TV star Rob Carson (r). Duncan (author of the radio classic Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers) is shown at left snapping a photo of the former president with Carson.  Harrison stated, “It was fascinating seeing Donald Trump in his ‘home’ environment. He seemed extremely relaxed, informal, healthy and happy. We all got a big kick out of hearing him perform as a DJ in which he presented a variety of artists including Elvis Presley and Andrea Bocelli.”  Trump mentioned that he thinks Rob Carson is one of the “funniest performers on radio and television today.” Harrison – known for playing his political cards close to the vest – was overheard telling the former president, “Sir, I must tell you… this is the best friggin’ piece of chicken I’ve eaten in years.”

 

 

Bob & Tom Show Performs Live at Cincinnati Hard Rock Casino for Reds Home Opener. Pictured above is the cast of “The Bob & Tom Show” on Tuesday (4/12) as it performs its nationally syndicated morning drive program live from the Hard Rock Cafe in Cincinnati’s Hard Rock Casino to celebrate the home opener of MLB’s Cincinnati Reds. Host Tom Griswold and the ensemble cast welcomed a live audience of 250, along with special guests Duke Tumatoe & The Power Trio, and comics Donnie Baker and Drew Hastings.

 

iHeartMedia’s ‘97.3 The Game’ Milwaukee Renews Steve Czaban for Mornings. Sports talk personality Steve Czaban and iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee sports talk WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game” announce a multi-year broadcast agreement extension to keep Czaban hosting the morning drive show. The station says that Czaban – who’s hosted nationally syndicated programming during his career in addition to his history in the Milwaukee market – joined “97.3 The Game” in May of 2019 and quickly became the most listened to sports talk show in Milwaukee. Czaban says, “What we are building at ‘The Game’ is incredible to watch, and not just in Milwaukee, but across Wisconsin. Sports talk radio that is entertaining, regardless of the season, and with a true Wisconsin flair. I’m looking forward to continuing to build upon our success in the market for years to come!” WRNW program director Tim Scott comments, “Continuing to work every day with a true legend of the format is pretty cool. Add in our all-star line up alongside Czabe, and I’d say this is going to be a really fun ride.”

 

KRMG, Tulsa Covers Oklahoma Warriors Honor Flight. On Tuesday (4/12), Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-FM, Tulsa and several of its staffers accompanied area veterans on a one-day trip to Washington, DC to see the memorials constructed in their honor. The Oklahoma Warriors Honor Flight is part of a nationwide, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing veterans to visit the memorials. Tuesday’s flight included 189 veterans from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Joining them were KRMG-FM anchor reporter Russell Mills and sister country station KWEN-FM’s Matt Bradley. KRMG-FM director of branding & programming Levi May says, “KRMG is proud to walk alongside these Oklahoma veterans and honor their service by sharing their stories during this trip. We want to help raise awareness and money for this organization so they can fly another group of veterans to Washington DC this October.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Good Karma Brands promotes KMVP-AM, Chicago “ESPN 1000” part-time board op and producer Tyler Aki to full-time producer for the afternoon drive “Waddle & Silvy” show hosted by Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman. At the same time, the station brings former iHeartMedia and Audacy BetQL Radio Network producer Shea Norling aboard to serve as producer for the late morning program hosted by David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood. Station director of content Danny Zederman says, “Both Tyler and Shea have track records of producing original and compelling content. They are strong additions to our content team, and I look forward to a bright future with them.”…..PodcastOne announces that the wellness podcast “The Dr. Gundry Podcast” releases its 200th episode. PodcastOne says the milestone episode features interviews with esteemed motivational speaker Tony Robbins and leading entrepreneur Peter Diamandis. PodcastOne president Kit Gray states, “We’re proud to be the network that brings ‘The Dr. Gundry Podcast’ to audiences each week. His episodes are informational, enlightening, and quite literally life changing. Cheers to 200 wonderful episodes and we’re looking forward to the next 200.”…..The newly launched College Athletes Network, founded by Ron Pivo and Brett Martzke, announces its new partnership with iHeartMedia to launch a new college sports centered podcast slate hosted by the athletes themselves. Listeners will hear directly from the athletes and their guests on what life is like in the world of big-time college sports and share unique insights that will take listeners behind the curtain at a variety of schools. The first show, “WalkieTalkieZ,” is hosted by Noah Buono, a walk-on basketball player at Duquesne University. His podcast discusses walk-ons from a variety of major sports programs across the country. He says, “After five incredible years of being a college basketball walk-on, I can confidently tell you that every walk-on has their own inspiring journey to tell. I’m super grateful and excited that ‘WalkieTalkieZ’ now has a national platform to help share these incredible stories and I look forward to the continued growth of this podcast through the College Athletes Network and its collaboration with iHeartMedia to reach massive audiences.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Biden Approval Ratings, the Economy/Inflation, NY Subway Shooter/Urban Violence, Hunter Biden Investigation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Immigration/Border Issues, January 6 Committee, and Elon Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/13). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and allegations of war crimes; President Joe Biden’s approval ratings hit a low of 33% in the latest Quinnipiac University survey; the high price of gas & food and concerns about a recession; the arrest of the NYC subway shooting suspect and the larger problem of rampant violence in America’s urban centers; the DOJ’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the illegal migrant problems at the U.S.-Mexico border and the transportation of migrants from Texas to Washington, DC; the ongoing investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the prosecution of those arrested there; and Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter and take it private were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, March 7, 2022

| March 7, 2022

Monday Memo: The Lightning Round. Reader warning: “Grab the arm rest!” In this week’s column, Holland Cooke admits he is “validating the consultant stereotype” by sharing “9-ideas-in-8-minutes” for sales, programming and news. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: King Content. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the “sports world seems to be redefining how we view value and utilize king content” when we hear about Apple’s reported $2 billion bid for NFL games and media platforms. The NFL brand and its unique content can drive multiple platforms. What does this have to do with selling news/talk radio? Read about it here.

 

Cary Pahigian to Leave WBAL-AM and ’98 Rock’; Dan Joerres to Assume Radio Management. Broadcasting executive Cary L. Pahigian is leaving his role with Hearst Television Baltimore at the end of this month to explore several new professional opportunities. Pahigian has been president and general manager for the company’s two radio stations – news/talk WBAL-AM and rock WIYY-FM “98 Rock” – since 2014. Hearst will assign the radio station management duties to WBAL-TV general manager Dan Joerres. Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb says, “When Cary joined us eight years ago, he brought a wealth of experience at many of the nation’s most honored radio stations. His passionate advocacy for local broadcasting and his strong appreciation for broadcasters’ important community service role were hallmarks of his spectacular success in managing WBAL Radio and 98 ROCK to even greater heights. We wish him great success in his well-deserved next chapter.” Prior to joining Hearst Television, Pahigian was president and GM for Saga Communications’ nine-station Portland, Maine station group. He’s also served with WBZ-AM, Boston and WIP, Philadelphia. He comments, “I joined WBAL and 98 ROCK because of the exceptional leadership team and extraordinary culture at Hearst Television. And my longtime teammate and friend Dan Joerres epitomizes that level of managerial acumen. I know he will lead the outstanding teams throughout WBAL-TV, WBAL NewsRadio and 98 ROCK to even greater achievements.  While I plan more adventures for my ongoing career, I leave Hearst with my gratitude for their support and providing me the opportunity of a lifetime.”

 

KRMG-FM, Tulsa Names Jen Townley Co-Host of Morning Show. Television news pro Jen Townley is named the new co-host of the “KRMG Morning News with Dan Potter” on Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-FM, Tulsa. Townley most recently served as a news producer for Cox Media Group’s KOKI-TV “FOX23.” KRMG director of branding & programming Levi May says, “We’re happy to be able to hire someone who is already a part of the Cox Media Group family. We already know Jen’s skill set is top-notch. Her impressive news background and engaging personality will add depth to our content that I cannot wait to get on-air.” Dan Potter comments, “I’m thrilled to be joined by an on-air partner with the energy, experience and personality Jen has. Her connections to newsmakers through her years of experience as a senior news producer coupled with her devotion to family life – not to mention her sense of humor – make JT the perfect choice to co-host the ‘KRMG Morning News’ with me.”

 

Mike Gallagher Covers ‘People’s Convoy.’ Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher in Hagerstown, Maryland as he covered the 1,000-vehicle “People’s Convoy” that converged on the Washington, DC beltway this weekend. Gallagher recorded one-on-one interviews with convoy participants that he’ll air on his program today (3/7). Gallagher says, “My show has always believed that the most important voice we present is our listeners. So, going one-on-one with the People’s Convoy is covering an important breaking news story the mainstream media is virtually ignoring.”

 

New Stephen K. Bannon Show Launches on John Fredericks Media Network. Today is the launch of a new talk radio program on the John Fredericks Media Network. “War Room: Battleground,” hosted by Stephen K. Bannon is his newest daily show and airs from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET that will focus on news, analysis, and the personalities of the 2022 midterm elections. The program is being aired on all eight of Fredericks’ owned and or operated radio stations, including WJFP-AM 740/W277DL/W237EH in Philadelphia, Delaware, and South Jersey “Liberty Radio”; WJFN-AM/FM in Central and Southeast Virginia; and WMLB-AM, Atlanta, and all corresponding streams. Fredericks says, “We are very excited to add Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room: Battleground’ to our radio network lineup. This is the most critical next nine months in the nation’s history, and all of our focus is on the upcoming primaries and nomination conventions. That’s why ‘War Room: Battleground’ is critical to giving our listeners and viewers critical insight into the various candidates and their policy positions.” Bannon comments, “The MAGA movement has a unique opportunity to destroy the Democratic Party as a functioning institution during the coming midterm election on 8 November. This is the moment to relentlessly focus on the America First agenda of President Trump. ‘War Room: Battleground’ will be that platform.”

 

Longtime WHAS-AM, Louisville Morning Host Wayne Perkey Dies at 84. The Courier-Journal reports that former longtime WHAS-AM, Louisville morning personality Wayne Perkey died yesterday (3/6) at age 84 after complications from COVID-19. His family tells the paper that Perkey was vaccinated and boosted so they were surprised when Perkey contracted the virus. Perkey acknowledged his supporters after revealing via Facebook that he’d been hospitalized, saying, “Thanks for all the good wishes. They are taking good care of me. I am so grateful for the good wishes and prayers. These are the times when we are so grateful for our friends and family.” Longtime WHAS colleague Terry Meiners is quoted in the paper saying, “He’s the voice of a generation. The thing I want people to know about Wayne is that his effervescent personality set the tone for the whole staff at the radio station. He was the positive ray of sunshine that everyone else sort of fell in line with.” Perkey joined WHAS in 1969 and worked there until his retirement in 1999. After leaving radio, he worked selling real estate.

 

TALKERS News Notes. The weekend program “Intelligence Matters” from CBS News Radio is setting its sights on the war in Ukraine. This past weekend, host Michael Morell hosted Mike Vickers – former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Special Forces officer and CIA operations officer – as the two discussed whether and how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine may have been a gross strategic miscalculation, how and when the West might have deterred his moves, and what future scenarios for the conflict exist…..Westwood One will present a broadcast slate of 23 NCAA Men’s Basketball games from Conference Championship Week as well as three broadcasts of Women’s Championship games. Westwood One’s postseason basketball coverage began last weekend and continues through Selection Sunday, with the broadcasts of the Ivy League, the SEC, and the American Athletic Championship games…..Cox Media Group Tulsa held its 3rd Annual Big Spring Clean – an annual initiative with the goal of diverting tons of items from the dump into area recycling programs. The CMG Tulsa cluster includes news/talk KRMG-FM. Market VP Cathy Gunther says, “Since the inception of this effort, CMG Tulsa and our partners have diverted more than 155 tons of trash from hitting landfills. The event is open to all Green Country residents, and we are really proud to offer this service to our community.”…..PodcastOne announces that the “Ladygang” podcast has lined up a roster of their famous friends to step up and fill in for podcast founder Becca Tobin while she’s on maternity leave. Guest hosts include Heather Dubrow, Danny Pellegrino, Jackie Schimmell, TINX, Jason Tartick, Garcelle Beauvais, Michael Yo and Josephine Skriver.

Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19/People’s Convoy, Oil Prices/Inflation, Brown SCOTUS Confirmation Process, and Deadly Iowa Tornado Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The ongoing Russian attack on the Ukraine and the rest of the world’s response to it; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the loosening of mask mandates, and the convoy of trucks and vehicles protesting mandates around Washington, DC; the soaring price of gasoline at the pump and the continuing high retail prices for consumer goods; the Republican strategy for the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and a tornado kills at least seven in Des Moines were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

| November 11, 2021

WFAN, New York Unveils New Evening and Overnight Shows. Sports talk WFAN, New York announces new evening and overnight programming. The Audacy station brings aboard Keith McPherson to host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show and promoted part-time talk host Sal Licata to host of the 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am show. Both programs debut on November 15. Audacy New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Keith and Sal will form a dynamic evening one-two punch, as both have the passion and drive to usher in an exciting new era on ‘The Fan.’ These hours became a must listen for decades with the iconic Steve Somers behind the microphone, and that will continue as Keith and Sal entertain the tristate area nightly be it on the road or even at home under the covers.” McPherson was most recently social media manager and podcast host for Jomboy Media. He says, “This is really a dream come true. I find no greater joy or entertainment than live sports and it’s a blessing and an honor to have this opportunity at a place like WFAN. I look forward to talking sports every day in New York and helping to lead this station into the future.” Sal Licata started his broadcasting career as an intern at WFAN in January 2003 and worked his way up to part-time host. In addition to his work at WFAN, Licata has been with SNY since 2010 and can be seen weeknights on “Geico Sportsnite” and weekly on “Baseball Night in New York.” Licata says, “Having a full time show on WFAN means everything to me. It’s an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to talk sports every night with the most passionate fans, in the greatest city in the world, on the best sports talk station ever created. It’s all I have ever wanted.”

New York Festivals 2022 Radio Awards Now Accepting Entries. The 2022 New York Festivals Radio Awards competition is now open for entries. New York Festivals Radio Awards honors storytellers from around the globe. Since 1957 NYF has celebrated excellence and innovation across all genres and platforms, keeping pace with industry-wide developments and global trends. Vice president and executive director Rose Anderson says, “When we added nine categories for social justice content last year, radio producers and the global audio storytelling community responded with thought-provoking work. This year, we are thrilled to announce the debut of our new trophy, the iconic NYF Tower in hand-polished Gold, Silver, and Bronze.” For the second year in a row, New York Festivals welcomes JusticeAid, an organization that promotes justice through the arts and public engagement, as a partner. The NYF Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries around the globe. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of the men and women who make up the global audio storytelling community. New York Festivals invites award-winning industry leaders from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury. The 2022 Grand jury will be set in the coming months. Those jurors will include some of the world’s most recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry. Entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium. You can see the 2021 winners here. Although the 2021 in-person NAB Show was cancelled due to pandemic quarantine restrictions, NYF pivoted with a 90-minute virtual ceremony Storytellers Gala featuring highlights and acceptances from 100 winning teams of men and women coming from their homes in 40-plus countries. The 2022 Storytellers Gala will take place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 26, 2022. This is the 12th year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show. The deadline to enter the 2022 Radio Awards competition is February 9, 2022. Find out more about entering here.

Brian Kilmeade is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-media talk star Brian Kilmeade is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Kilmeade is a longtime member of the trio that co-hosts the FOX News Channel cable TV morning show “FOX & Friends” in addition to hosting his own nationally syndicated midday program on FOX News Radio. Kilmeade is ranked #4 on the 2021 TALKERS Heavy Hundred list. He is the author of seven books – two about sports and he’s just published his fifth about key figures and stories in American History. This series brings new insights into the lives, times, and impact of icons such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston and his new one is titled, The President and the Freedom Fighter: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and their Battle to Save America’s Soul. Harrison and Kilmeade discuss the deeply nuanced relationship between Lincoln and Frederick Douglass (not to be confused with Stephen Douglas) which so directly relates and connects to the reckoning between the races currently taking place in the national conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

iHeartMedia Names Bekki Yang SVP of Sales for Twin Cities. Radio sales pro Bekki Yang is promoted to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk WCTS-AM “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports KFXN “KFAN,” and KQQL-HD2/W227BF “Black Information Network,” and five music brands. iHeartMedia Minneapolis market president Greg Alexander says, “Bekki thinks big and acts big. Innovation and creative thinking are at the core of her career success. I’m thrilled to promote her to senior vice president of sales.” Yang has a 22-year history with iHeartMedia, most recently serving as the vice president of sales for Minneapolis. Yang says, “I’ve had a very long career with iHeartMedia and I couldn’t be more excited to take on this new role with the iHeartMedia Minneapolis team. I look forward to the continued success that Minneapolis has established while adding new ideas and leadership to the team.”

Winners of 2021 Marconi Awards Announced. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the winners of the 2021 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. The awards were announced during the virtual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Celebration. Spoken-word winners of note include: WSB-AM, Atlanta, Legendary Station of the Year; KTCK-AM, Dallas’ The Musers, Major Marker Personality of the Year; KRMG-FM, Tulsa’s Dan Potter, Medium Market Personality of the Year; KYW-AM, Philadelphia, Major Market Station of the Year; KTMY-FM, Minneapolis, Large Market Station of the Year; KRMG-FM, Tulsa, Medium Market Station of the Year; WTOP-FM, Washington, News/Talk Station of the Year; and KTCK-AM, Dallas, Sports Station of the Year.

Alabama Host Cam Marston Announces Effort to Expand Radio Show. “What’s Working” – the radio show hosted by Cam Marston that focuses on trends in the workplace, workforce, and marketplace – is expanding. The program is based at WAVH-FM, Mobile and over the past four years has included interviews with a broad array of businesspeople from foresters, to brewers, to manufacturers, to authors, to Tony Award-winning actors. Marston says, “The focus of my show has always been for the benefit of my listeners in and around the Mobile, Alabama market. Now I want to bring the show across the state where I can connect with a larger spectrum of businesses.”

Inflation/Supply Chain, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, COP26/U.S.-China Deal, Kamala Harris in Paris, and Belarus-Poland Refugee Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/10). Soaring retail and fuel prices and the broken global supply chain; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s attempts to prevent the House panel from getting presidential records; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the battle over mask & vaccine mandates; the COP26 summit in Glasgow and the U.S.-China emissions reduction deal; Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to France; and the refugee crisis at the Belarus-Poland border were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

| August 5, 2021

Beasley Broadcast Group Second Quarter Net Revenue Up 96%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2021, Beasley Broadcast Group (parent company of Beasley Media Group) indicates net revenue was $59.6 million, an increase of 96.1% over the same period in 2020. The company posts operating income of $5.8 million compared to the $17.6 million operating loss it reported in Q2 of 2020. Station operating income also rebounded to $11.1 million compared to the $11 million SOI loss it posted in the same period a year ago. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley’s strong 2021 second quarter financial results reflect growing momentum across our media platform, as the continuing broad-based economic recovery accelerated demand from consumers and advertisers for our premium content and marketing and advertising services. With the significant rebound in the commercial advertising market, second quarter net revenue of $59.6 million increased 24% over first quarter 2021 levels and 96% over the comparable prior year period. Top line growth combined with the meaningful actions we have taken over the past year to permanently reduce costs and improve operating efficiencies, resulted in a significant rebound in net income to $0.2 million and SOI to $11.1 million, as well as positive free cash flow of approximately $1.0 million. Throughout the second quarter, the resumption of advertising in key categories combined with the success of our content monetization strategies resulted in year-over-year revenue growth across all fifteen of our markets, with healthy double-digit revenue increases in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and Wilmington. Notably, our continued emphasis on strong local content and consumer engagement drove best-in-industry ratings performance for our station clusters, according to Nielsen. Our cumulative on-air audience share approached pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter, having grown consistently since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. While second quarter non-traditional revenue (NTR) and events revenue was minimal, we made the strategic decision to fully re-open our events business in the third quarter, given the continued strengthening of commerce and consumer activities in our markets, and expect incremental revenue from this source in the second half of 2021. As we work to return all of our revenue sources to pre-pandemic levels of operation, we are closely tracking potential impacts from the Delta variant and the uncertainty it may bring to businesses we serve and our future operating results. Our ongoing focus on digital innovation and the strategic investments we are making in our digital and esports infrastructure and content production capabilities are delivering positive results and continue to highlight the value of our long-term revenue and cash flow diversification strategies. Growing consumer and advertiser demand for Beasley’s digital audio content drove a 96% year-over-year increase in digital revenue, with digital accounting for approximately 13.4% of total second quarter revenue, compared to 13.4% in the prior year period and 12% in the 2021 first quarter. With growing audience share and engagement, Beasley’s digital network delivered record digital audience impressions in the second quarter, with total digital impressions growing 29% over the prior year period.”

Salem Media Group Q2 2021 Total Revenue Rises 20.6%. The total revenue for Salem Media Group’s second quarter of 2021 was $63.8 million, an increase of 20.6% over the same period in 2020. Salem posted operating income of $5.6 million for the quarter, compared to the operating loss of $900,000 it reported during the second quarter of 2020. The company’s net income for Q2 of this year was $2.3 million compared to the net loss of $2.5 million it reported for the second quarter of 2020. Salem Media Group reports data for its three business segments and the Broadcast segment’s net revenue for this quarter was $46.8 million, up 18.5% from the same period a year ago. Station operating income rose 66.6% to $10.6 million. The Digital Media segment saw revenue rise 9.5% to $10.3 million and the Publishing segment revenue was $6.7, an increase of 68.3%. As of June 30, 2021, the Salem Media Group had $216.3 million outstanding on the 6.75% senior secured notes due 2024, no balance outstanding on the Asset Based Revolving Credit Facility, and $11.2 million outstanding on Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans from the Small Business Administration.

Saga Communications Q2 Net Revenue Up 49.7%. Second quarter financial data from Saga Communications, Inc. reveals that the company’s net revenue was $28 million, an increase of 49.7% over the same period in 2020. The company posted operating income of $4.6 million compared to the operating loss of $8.6 million it reported in the second quarter of 2020.  Station operating expense increased $2.4 million to $21.0 million for the quarter compared to the same period last year. Station operating income was $8.4 million for the quarter compared to a loss of $181,000 for the second quarter of 2020. Free cash flow was $4.2 million for the quarter compared to a negative $1.8 million for the same period last year. Saga’s balance sheet reflects $59.4 million in cash on hand as of June 30, 2021 and $59.6 million as of August 2, 2021.  The company’s total bank debt remained at $10 million as of the end of the second quarter 2021.

Urban One Second Quarter Net Revenue Climbs 41.6%. Today’s second quarter 2021 financial report from Urban One, Inc., parent company of Radio One, indicates the company’s net revenue was approximately $107.6 million, an increase of 41.6% from the same period in 2020. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $49.6 million, an increase of 64.3% from the same period in 2020. Urban One reports operating income of approximately $37.9 million for Q2 of 2021, compared to approximately $20.4 million for the same period in 2020. Net income was approximately $17.9 million compared to approximately $1.4 million for the second quarter of 2020. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “Overall we had an extremely strong second quarter; not only was Adjusted EBITDA up 82.4% year-over-year, but we also surpassed our Q2 2019 pre-pandemic Adjusted EBITDA. We are experiencing unprecedented advertiser interest in our audience across the entire Urban One platform. The radio advertising business saw a robust rebound from the worst impacts of the pandemic in Q2 2020, with segment revenues up by 73% and radio syndication revenues up 50.2%. We also benefitted from strong TV scatter markets, with TV advertising revenues up 21.3% in the quarter; furthermore, registered interest in our 2021-22 TV upfront sales presentations has also been extremely encouraging, which will help our fourth quarter revenue performance. Demand for our digital products remains high, with digital revenues up by 147.9% for the quarter and Adjusted EBITDA up by over $6 million; a significant help to our top and bottom-line growth. For Q3, our core radio business excluding political is currently pacing up by over 40%, and we are comfortable increasing our FY21 Adjusted EBITDA guidance to mid-$130 million, excluding casino chase costs. During the quarter we completed the second tranche of our Class A ATM share sale program, which yielded $21.2 million net of fees. This cash influx further strengthened our balance sheet, and we ended the quarter with $129.8 million of cash on hand, which is a healthy place to be ahead of the exciting new investment opportunity in the One Casino & Resort in Richmond, Virginia.”

Ralph Nader is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Legendary consumer advocate, political activist, prolific author, Pacifica radio talk show host and five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Nader engage in a fascinating discussion about “left/right political thinking” in America as well as social and business changes influenced by advancements in technology, plus more. Nader says working class Democrats and Republicans alike have far more in common than they have differences and that unbridled corporatism is the true enemy of the poor and working class regardless of race or political ideology. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

NAB Announces 2021 Marconi Finalists. The finalists for the 2021 Marconi Awards have been announced. The news/talk Station of the Year finalists are: WSB-AM, Atlanta; WTOP-FM, Washington; KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri; WLW-AM, Cincinnati; and KNX-AM, Los Angeles. (NAB lumps all-news and news/talk stations into the same category.) WSB-AM, Atlanta is also up for Legendary Station of the Year. Talk radio hosts making the finals include, for Major Market Personality of the Year, George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith from sports talk KTCK-AM, Dallas “The Ticket.” In the Large Market Personality of the Year category, finalists include: WFLA-AM, Tampa’s Jack Harris; WBAL-AM, Baltimore’s C4 and Bryan Nehman; WHPT-FM, Tampa’s Mike Calta; and WWTN-FM, Nashville’s Dan Mandis. Medium Market Personality of the Year category finalists include: KRMG-FM, Tulsa’s Dan Potter; KIDO-AM, Boise’s Kevin Miller; KYKX-FM, Tyler, Texas’ Harlen the Sports Guy and Pigskin Bob; and WHO-AM, Des Moines’ Simon Conway. See all the finalists here.

TALKERS News Notes. Next Tuesday (8/10), McVay Media’s Mike McVay is joining Loyd Ford from Rainmaker Pathway Consulting Works, LLC for “The Radio State Of The Union Live Event” on The Encouragers on Clubhouse. It’s being billed as “a frank discussion about employment, job search, career management, corporate & local radio and the future” and takes place at 7:00 pm ET. Ford says, “We have been discussing the people we love in this business, the talent. This is a unique time in our history. If you are on the talent side of the business, it takes some skill to navigate your way through what is happening. I reached out to Mike because he really does have such deep experience and knows radio as a talent, a consultant and someone who ran programming for one of the largest broadcasters in the country. Plus, he’s willing (like I am) to be candid. This will be a conversation with red meat and a lot of helpful hacks to get ahead, stay balanced and help others.”…..Legendary WGN-AM and WGN-TV sports producer Jack “Rosey” Rosenberg will be recognized by the City of Chicago with an honorary street sign. The southeast corner of E. Illinois Street and Cityfront Plaza Drive will double as “Jack Rosenberg Way.” Rosenberg’s career at WGN began in 1954 where he was a producer, news writer, and sports editor and worked with celebrated sports voices including Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray, Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau, and others. WGN says, “Rosey was a pioneer in modern sports production and broadcasting and is credited with its development. While Rosey himself was rarely heard on-air, the sound of his typewriter clacking in the background was unmistakable.” Rosenberg died December 26, 2020 at the age of 94…..Futuri announces the launch of AdMatic, “a revolutionary system that helps podcast platforms and creators make their content more discoverable and monetizable using advanced metadata sorting and deployment.” Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig adds, “Two million podcasts all have the same problem: poor metadata sorting that leads to mismatched recommendations for listeners and ineffective advertising for businesses. AdMatic solves this by using Futuri’s AI-driven technology to individually categorize podcast episodes and align with the businesses and products that best match on a case-by-case basis, rather than the hopelessly broad one-size-fits-all approach we currently see in the market.”

COVID-19 Delta Variant/Outbreaks & Mask Policies, Eviction Moratorium, Cuomo Allegations-Impeachment Possibility, Infrastructure Bill, January 6 Investigation, the Tokyo Olympic Games, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in numerous U.S. states, governors under fire and mask policies; President Joe Biden’s moratorium on evictions; the allegations of sexual impropriety against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the possibility of his being impeached; the bi-partisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the Tokyo Olympics; and the California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, October 30, 2020

| October 30, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, 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 “October Surge!” looks back at this past week of October 26 – October 30, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Joe “Pags” Pagliarullo, talk show host, Compass Media NetworksChris Stigall, talk show host WNTP, Philadelphia/KCMO, Kansas City; Ethan Bearman, attorney/correspondent, FOX News ChannelMichael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive editor, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio 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 (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; 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; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio 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.

Round Four of October PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all of the 6+, weekly AQH share information from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. One of the country’s most intense news/talk battles continues in the swing state of Wisconsin as iHeartMedia’s WISN adds another full share – capping a three-survey 4.4 share spike – to finish the October survey with an 11.2 share and repeats at #1. Right behind is Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ which rises eight-tenths for an 8.0 share and the #2 rank in the market. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM tacks another one-tenth share on for a 9.2 share finish and repeats at the #2 spot. Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence puts the brakes on the five-survey downward trend by posting a +1.1 to finish with a 5.1 share and climbs from #7 to #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets – and the first three rounds – here.

Entercom Fires WJFK-FM, Washingon Afternoon Host Chad Dukes for “Racist and Inappropriate Comments.”The Washington Post reports that Entercom has fired WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” sports talk personality Chad Dukes for “racist and inappropriate comments” that appeared on his personal podcast. The story indicates that the company did not reveal exactly what was said nor how it learned about the comments, but issued a statement from Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith that reads: “We have zero tolerance for this type of speech from any of our employees, on our platforms or otherwise. Our air talent are ambassadors of our brand, and we do not want to be affiliated with these comments.” The decision to let Dukes go was revealed on this morning’s edition of “The Sports Junkies” morning drive program on WJFK-FM. Duke had been with the station since 2006 and had been the afternoon drive host since 2014.

Programming Changes Taking Place at KFNS-AM, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KFNS-AM’s return to a full-time sports talk format is taking place as Frank O. Pinion’s “The Large Morning Show in the Afternoon” is cancelled and new, local sports talk talent are expected to be joining the station soon. The story indicates former crosstown WXOS-FM personality Bernie Miklasz and former KMOV-TV news anchor Steve Savard may be joining the station. Miklasz was let go by WXOS owner Hubbard Radio back in May in what was a COVID-influenced budget move, and Savard was released by KMOV-TV in what is also being called a budget-related move. KFNS owner Randy Markel brought the station out of bankruptcy in 2015 and is in the process of selling it to a local group led by station manager and air personality John Hadley. His group will lease the station at first with the intent to buy it.

Salem Radio Network Announces Election Coverage. For Election Day on Tuesday, Salem Radio Network announces that it is providing coverage from 6:00 pm ET on Tuesday (11/3) to 6:00 am on Wednesday (11/4). Coverage will include all major “acceptance” and “concession” speeches in the presidential and congressional elections as well as key local/regional races around the nation. SRN nationally syndicated talk host Hugh Hewitt will anchor the first six hours of coverage with guests that will include: SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Charlie Kirk, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas. At 12:00 midnight, the network switches to the Los Angeles studios of Salem’s KRLA “870AM The ANSWER” for continuing coverage anchored by KRLA morning personality Jennifer Horn, along with KRLA news anchor Larry Marino and Don Dix at the California Election Night Desk. SRN adds that if, as expected, the ballot-counting is far from concluded in the presidential race but a determination has been made on which political party will control the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, portions of earlier election night coverage will be repeated between 3:00 am and 6:00 am ET when Hugh Hewitt will return with his normal weekday Hugh Hewitt show to pick up live continuing coverage.

Cody Welling Named Director of Sales for Cox Media Group Tulsa. Media sales pro Cody Welling is named director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa operations that includes news/talk KRMG-FM. Welling was most recently general sales manager for Tegna’s Ohio News Network and sports talk WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan.” CMG Tulsa market president Cathy Gunther says, “Cody is passionate about delivering results for advertising partners through creative marketing solutions. This makes him a perfect fit for CMG Tulsa where he can provide customized solutions with our robust products that reach three out of four Tulsans weekly.”

The Presidential Race, Ballot Fraud, and Scandals, Conspiracies & Accusations Combined for Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 26-30. The November 3 presidential election, concerns about ballot fraud and the political conspiracies, scandals, and accusations combined to make up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the rising number of COVID-19 cases, projections for fall/winter cases and U.S. health care system’s ability to treat it. Coming in at #3 was the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court Justice and the related court packing issue, followed by the related issues of race relations, the killing of Walter Wallace Jr in Philadelphia, and police reform at #4. 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.

KSCO Launches Weekly Show Critical of the Chinese Communist Party. The Zwerling Broadcasting System-owned news/talk outlet KSCO, Santa Cruz is launching a unique and compelling weekly two-hour radio show designed to keep Americans apprised of the dangers being presented to U.S. interests domestically and worldwide by China and the Chinese Communist Party. Provocatively titled, “China Über Alles” (China Above All) – a name sarcastically referencing the infamous slogan “Deutschland Über Alles” utilized by the Nazis to convey their dark message of German worldwide superiority in the 1930s and 1940s – the show discusses the ongoing war of subversion being waged against the U.S. by the communist regime in Beijing and its shocking human rights abuses of Chinese citizens, including political dissidents, investigative journalists, ethnic minorities and seekers of religious freedom. The show airs live Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm PT and is hosted by Amy Hao, Nan Su, and KSCO director of production/chief engineer Bill Graff. Its 11th episode is set to stream tomorrow (10/29). According to Nan Su, “The concern about China is no longer limited to human rights and freedom in China. It is about defending the freedom, security, and democracy of the future generations in the United States and the western world.” Unfair China trade practices, invasive surveillance, human rights abuses, intellectual property theft, military aggression in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the origins and cover up of COVID-19 and questioning if “the NBA should move to China” are among a myriad of topics covered on the series. Read more here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One will be held virtually on Thursday, December 10 in which it will air live on more than 95 iHeartMedia CHR stations as well as streaming on The CW app and on CWTV.com. The CW Network will broadcast the event as an exclusive nationwide television special on Monday, December 14 at 8:00 pm ET. Performers scheduled to appear include: Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes and more. iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “For 25 years, iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball has showcased performances from the year’s biggest artists in hit music, live on stage in front of screaming fans. Because of the pandemic, we’re moving from the stage to the artists’ home this holiday season for what will be an unforgettable show with amazing performances and moments that can only happen at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.”…..Key Networks nationally syndicated country air personality Shawn Parr (right) is pictured here with TLC (left), host of the morning show on new affiliate KPLM, Palm Springs “Big 106.” Parr, host of “Shawn Parr’s Across The Country,” traveled to Palm Springs to take part in the David Wells Perfect 33 Foundation Charity Golf Tournament…..Condolences to the family and friends of legendary air personality Ed Hurst, who passed away early today (11/30) at age 94. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS that Hurst got his start in radio on his station’s predecessor WFPG, Atlantic City in 1943. You can read what Harry Hurley wrote about Hurst here.