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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.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

| October 27, 2021

Vaccine Mandates Causing Strife Among Staffers in Broadcasting Industry. The mandate by several radio companies that workers return to the office and get vaccinated against COVID-19 before they do is causing angst for some in the industry. Already, a handful of radio personalities have chosen to be terminated from their positions rather than get a vaccine. TALKERS reported on the dismissal of sports talk host Tim Hill from Cumulus Media’s WNKT-FM, Columbia, South Carolina and Jeff Crank’s exit from Cumulus Media’s KVOR-AM, Colorado Springs for refusing the vaccine. Also, country jock Roxanne Steele exited Cumulus’ WDRQ-FM, Detroit for the same reason. Cumulus is not the only radio company with a mandate. Beasley Media Group also has instituted a vaccine requirement. But the threat by talk host Dan Bongino to leave his program syndicated by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One if the company doesn’t retreat on the mandate has pushed the issue into mainstream news outlets. It has also put WWO in a difficult situation with Bongino as the company has replaced Bongino’s live show with best-of editions so far this week, ostensibly so the company can sort out this matter. Bongino – who is vaccinated but says he’s taking this stand for his fellow employees – has only been syndicated by WWO since May but the company has invested a lot of time and money in his show. His popular podcast was the #8-ranked podcast in terms of average weekly downloads in September, according to Triton Digital’s rankings so this makes Cumulus’ handling of Bongino’s threat very tricky. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison comments, “We haven’t seen this kind of dramatic brinksmanship since the Cuban Missile Crisis… well perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration… but Bongino has clearly drawn a red line in the sand and both parties have boldly stepped over it. Now it’s a matter of image and pride for each. Unless this is defused by a masterful display of diplomacy in which both sides can save face and move the issue forward to the benefit of all involved – including society at large – [Cumulus CEO] Mary Berner has no choice but to let Bongino go. He made his choice… and Dan must now make good on his threat and live with the consequences, whatever they might be. One thing’s for sure… we’ve come a long way from the old ‘morals clause’ that was a standard part of media talent contracts. We’ll now be seeing the ‘political clause’ become part of the deal in talk media management/talent legal agreements.”

Audacy Rebrands WQAM, Miami; Unveils Tweaked Lineups for South Florida Sports Talkers. A number of changes talk place at Audacy’s South Florida sports talk stations, including the rebranding of WQAM, Miami. The station is leaving the “560 The Joe” moniker behind and the station is now “AM 560 Sports WQAM.” While sister sports talker WAXY-AM remains branded “AM 790 The Ticket,” some programming changes also take place, including the move of personality Jonathan Zaslow to middays (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) on WQAM from his previous role in middays on WAXY. Meanwhile, “AM 790 The Ticket” adds “BetQL Daily” for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot and CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.

Hubbard Radio’s Talk KTMY-FM, Minneapolis Launches Marketing Campaign. Twin Cities talk outlet KTMY-FM “myTalk 107.1” is beginning a four-and-a-half month marketing campaign that sets out to differentiate itself from its pure news/talk cousins with the slogan: “Where Talk is Fun.” The first billboard (top) was a teaser that was followed by the next in the series (bottom) featuring morning duo Jason Matheson and Alexis Thompson that reveals the station’s brand. Hubbard Radio VP and region manager Dan Seeman says the next four months will see the campaign expand with bulletins, poster billboards, indoor advertising (women’s bathrooms), OTT, and digital display.

Talk Host John Hancock Honored with Induction into NC Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The North Carolina Broadcasters Association held its annual business meeting virtually this year and presented its annual broadcast awards. Longtime WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte personality John Hancock was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Hancock’s bio says: “John recently retired after 50 years of on-air service with the past 30 years in Charlotte. John arrived in Charlotte and at WBT in December of 1990 and has helped shape the conversation in the Queen City ever since by musing on the issues of the day with his unique perspective. For nearly three decades, John’s daily show provided a mix of information and opinion, peppered with humor and just the right dose of sarcasm, enabling him to become a cherished and trusted voice for the community, known universally as ‘Charlotte’s Most Beloved.’ As an integral part of the community, he showed how much he cared including his 27 year, unconditional commitment to the Kids First of the Carolina’s annual holiday drive, raising millions in dollars, toys, bikes (over 20,000) and services. Additionally, John’s annual ‘Father’s Day’ show on the anniversary of his own father’s death, March 16 and the annual ‘Peanut Butter N July’ benefitting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, became Charlotte traditions. John Hancock aired his final daily show on WBT 1110 AM on October 17, 2019. But, even in retirement, he remains active in radio and at WBT in the form of two commentaries a week and joining Bo Thompson on the WBT morning show for an hour every Friday.

Sean Spicer Celebrates Release of New Book. Pictured above at the launch party for former White House press secretary and current Newsmax personality Sean Spicer’s new book are (from l-r): U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Spicer and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy. Newsmax says, “The top movers and shakers in Washington came out for the launch of Sean Spicer’s new book, Radical Nation: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ Dangerous Plan for America (Humanix, 2021). The book launch party, hosted by Chris Ruddy, drew approximately 40 members of Congress, including many from the top leadership, former Trump administration cabinet members, media personalities, and major policy experts.”

TALKERS News Notes. Finance and investment expert and best-selling author Jared Dillian is launching a podcast titled, “Be Smart: How Not to Be an Idiot with Your Money.” This is an all-new take on an existing podcast. Dillian says, “I’m on a mission to help people live a richer stress-free life, not by renting or borrowing it. I help discover how to conquer money troubles, escape the scarcity mentality trap, and ignite earning power. Yes, people can do it while still enjoying material possessions. You don’t have to live in a van down by the river.” Dillian is a 20-year veteran of the financial industry. He worked at Lehman Brothers from 2001 to 2008 —first as an index arbitrage trader and then as head of the ETF trading desk. He left Lehman to start his own newsletter, “The Daily Dirtnap,” where he shares trade ideas and market commentary for finance professionals and sophisticated investors. He also edits of “Street Freak,” “ETF 20/20,” and the “10th Man.”…..There’s a nice piece in The Southern Illinoisan recognizing 45 years on the radio for River Radio’s WJPF-AM, Herrin, Illinois morning host Tom Miller. The self-described “rock ‘n’ roll guy” has been hosting “The Morning News Watch” for 20 years and he says that during his rock radio days it was all about his image as “off-the-hook crazy, a wild card, loose cannon.” Now, unlike the majority of his talk radio colleagues, Miller says it’s not about him. “I had to remake myself completely. I didn’t use my name; I focused solely on content. I didn’t want anybody to think about any of the other stuff I had done before, because in this format it is about what you say and how you say it. It became about credibility.”…..TeshMedia signs an extension with Compass Media Networks to continue in its role as the exclusive advertising sales representative for its portfolio of radio assets including the daily “John Tesh Radio Show,” a/k/a Intelligence for Your Life, “The Best of the John Tesh Radio Show,” “Intelligence for Your Health with Connie Sellecca,” “The Weekend Show with John Tesh and Gib Gerard” and “Intelligence for Your Life Minute,” as well as “Intelligence For Your Life: The Podcast.”…..Cumulus Media, Imperative Entertainment and Vespucci dropped “Bonaparte,” a true crime podcast series revealing the remarkable journey of one woman’s resolve to help piece together events surrounding the mysterious and unsolved death of her childhood friend 25 years prior. The new, 10-part podcast series, hosted by Jason Stavers, reports on attorney Anne Champion’s endeavor to solve the death of her childhood friend of Laura Van Wyhe. Champion says, “Laura’s death has always stayed with me. There are too many things that don’t add up. A few years ago, I decided to start pushing for answers. I’m working with Laura’s family to see if we can get people to come forward and share new details. Based on my review of the files, it’s clear that there are many inconsistencies and many open issues begging for further investigation. I believe this is a cold case that can be solved, and solving it is long overdue for Laura’s family and friends.”

January 6 Investigation/Executive Privilege, COVID-19, Biden Infrastructure-Social Spending Bills/Unrealized Gains Tax, Virginia Governor’s Race, Bolsonaro Charges, and Rust Movie Set Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/26). The investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and President Joe Biden’s rejection of former President Donald Trump’s claim of executive privilege, the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., vaccine approval for kids, and protests over Biden’s looming vaccine mandate; the Biden infrastructure and social spending bills and the pushback against his taxing of the wealthy on unrealized gains; the too-close-to-call race for Virginia Governor between incumbent Terry McAuliffe and Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin; Brazil’s senate recommends criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for his response to the coronavirus pandemic; and the investigation into the death of assistant producer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.