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, “Whether the Weather, Whatever,” looks back at this past week of 12/13 – 12/17. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Brett Winterble, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte; Rob Carson, talk show host, Newsmax TV-Radio; Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist/medical podcaster; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; 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.
WJR, Detroit Finalizes New Lineup as Next Year’s 100th Anniversary Approaches. Detroit news/talk 760 WJR announces it has finalized its new on-air programming lineup, “just in time for its 100-year anniversary celebration in 2022.” This week, the Cumulus Media talk station launched the new “All Talk with Tom Jordan and Kevin Dietz” program in the late morning daypart, capping “a year of evolutionary moves that position WJR for its next 100 years serving the Detroit area with the best news, information, opinion and analysis.” The company says the retooling of WJR was accelerated by the retirement last December of longtime news director, Dick Haefner, the February death of Rush Limbaugh, and the retirement of 50-year station veteran Frank Beckmann in March. Changes made this year include Ann Thomas being promoted from senior executive producer to assistant program director of WJR. Paul W. Smith, who recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as WJR morning host, is joined by co-host Sean Baligian, who has spent most of his career in Detroit sports, including as pre- and post-game host of WJR’s Detroit Lions coverage. Laura Hessen moves from the “Guy Gordon Show” to serve as executive producer of “All Talk with Tom Jordan and Kevin Dietz.” Nick Roddy, former Detroit Lions broadcast producer, takes the reins as executive producer of the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm “Guy Gordon Show.” Blake Majchrzak joins WJR as studio & audio engineer for the “Mitch Albom Show.” Also, FOX News Radio has been added as the WJR network news provider and WJR news reporter/anchor Marie Osborne, WJR producer Chris Renwick and former WJR news reporter Lloyd Jackson sign on as the first WJR senior news analysts, covering, writing and producing stories and presenting them across the day within the local WJR talk shows. The senior news analysts present the story, add analysis and participate in discussions with the WJR talent and listeners. WJR is also announcing major upgrades on weekends by adding legendary Detroit morning show host Jim Harper with his “Great Michigan Weekend Show.” Weekday specialty programming additions also include four-time Stanley Cup champion Darren McCarty, WJR sports fan favorite Steve Courtney and popular local television personality Jamie Edmonds. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “We are extremely proud of this team, their credentials, their integrity and their ability to represent WJR and Cumulus in the tradition expected by all Michiganders! The new talent we’ve added around our longtime superstars Paul W. Smith, Guy Gordon and Mitch Albom makes WJR one of the most powerful and trusted media outlets among all peers. Individually they each are ‘A’ players with big brands, and as a collective group of broadcasters, we feel we have the absolute strongest lineup in Michigan radio, maybe anywhere in the country.”
Keith Abrams Joins Alpha Media Portland as Content Director. Programming pro Keith Abrams joins Alpha Media Portland’s leadership team as content director, effective January 3, 2022. Abrams will oversee programming for KXL “FM News 101,” KUFO “Freedom 970,” and sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game.” Abrams was most recently SVP of programming and brand coordinator for iHeartMedia Cleveland. Alpha Media Portland operations manager Gene Sandbloom comments, “Celebrating its 95th year, KXL is one of the best performing local news radio stations in the country, with one of the smartest and highly motivated news teams anywhere. After an exhaustive search, we are very happy to welcome Keith Abrams to lead our Alpha Media news/talk stations in Portland. His knowledge and lifelong commitment to great news is most welcome, as is his extensive format experience and love for sports which will be a great addition to our team at ‘750 The Game.’”
SuperTalk Mississippi Names J.T. Mitchell News Director. News pro and freelance journalist J.T. Mitchell returns to SuperTalk Mississippi Media as news director for SuperTalk Mississippi News. Mitchell served as a journalist and digital specialist at SuperTalk Mississippi Media from 2019-2021. Most recently, Mitchell was the managing editor of Our Mississippi Home while pursuing various freelance journalism stories around the world. Mitchell says, “When [president and CEO] Kim [Dillon] and [founder and chairman] Steve [Davenport] reached out to me about this position, I was blown away—honored actually. SuperTalk already has a great news team, and I look forward to working together to bring Mississippians timely, hard-hitting, and exclusive news from across the state.” Dillon says, “We are excited to have J.T. return to the team here at SuperTalk. His energy, hard work ethic, and attention to detail will move our company and news department forward as we welcome in a new year.” In this role, Mitchell will oversee news programming on 48 SuperTalk and affiliate radio stations and on SuperTalk Mississippi News’ digital media platforms.
WVON, Chicago’s Todd Ronczkowski Retires from Broadcasting. After a 35-year radio career, Todd Ronczkowski is leaving the business, and his role as program manager at Midway Broadcasting’s talk WVON, Chicago, to take a position with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department assisting with community outreach efforts. Ronczkowski has been serving with WVON for the past 13 years. Prior to that, he served with Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM as a producer. Midway Broadcasting’s Melody Spann Cooper comments, “I will miss Todd tremendously because he became a jack-of-all-trades for the company. He gave a lot and learned a lot which will be a tremendous asset to him in his new role at the Sheriff’s Department. Most importantly, it will allow him to spend more time with his family.” WVON has named Delvin Randall interim program manager.
FOX Sports’ LaVar Arrington Launches ‘Up On Game Presents’ Podcast. Former NFL great and current sports talk personality LaVar Arrington – co-host of FOX Sports Radio’s “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with Brady Quinn and Jonas Knox” and co-host of the nationally syndicated weekend program/podcast “Up On Game with TJ Houshmandzadeh and Plaxico Burress” – announces today the launch of the “Up On Game Presents” podcast. Produced in partnership with FOX Sports Radio, the podcast is an extension of the network’s “Up On Game” program. Arrington says, “I’m super excited to kick off ‘Up On Game Presents’ with this entertaining and engaging lineup of wide-ranging personalities and shows. I’m so proud of what we’re accomplishing with the FOX Sports Radio and iHeartRadio team, and I’m confident listeners will love what they hear!” Featured within the “Up On Game Presents” podcast feed will be: “Conversations with a Legend,” hosted by Arrington; “Pritty Left Hook,” hosted by Rhett Butler; “Straight Facts,” hosted by James Jackson, Jake Galli, “Stat” Matt Robinson and Kyle Syrek; and “What Are Those?” with producer, writer and filmmaker Adam Butler.
Triton Digital Releases U.S. Podcast Report for November 2021. Global technology and services provider Triton Digital announces the release of the latest U.S. Podcast Report for the November 2021 reporting period (November 1 – November 28, 2021), as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service. The Top Network Reports are ranked by Average Weekly Downloads and Average Weekly Users, in accordance with v2.1 of the IAB Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines. The Top 20 Podcast Networks for the period are: Stitcher at #1, NPR at #2, Audacy Podcast Network at #3, and Cumulus Podcast Network at #4. Among The Top 100 Podcasts are: “NPR News Now” at #1, “The Ben Shapiro Show” at #2, and audiochuck’s “Crime Junkie” at #3. You can see all 20 of the top networks and all 100 of the top podcasts here.
TALKERS News Notes. With the end of 2021 around the corner, ABC Audio is offering end-of-year special programming in both long-form and short-form versions. Long-form programming includes: “Playback 2021,” a one-hour special anchored by ABC News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky that delves into the biggest news reports of 2021; “2021: The Year in Review,” a three-hour look back at the year’s top stories, told utilizing sound from ABC News Radio’s special programming and breaking news reports; and “World News This Year,” a special edition of the regular show, “World News This Week”…..SiriusXM is presenting post-season college football, including the Division I FBS bowl games and highlighted by the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship. On New Year’s Eve, subscribers hear both College Football Playoff Semifinal games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic featuring #4 Cincinnati vs. #1 Alabama (3:30 pm ET), followed by #3 Georgia vs. #2 Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl (7:30 pm ET). Two weeks later, on January 10, listeners will get live play-by-play as the winners of those two games face off in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Inflation, Build Back Better, the Supply Chain and Labor Force Combine as Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 13-17. The high consumer prices, negotiations over President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, the effects of the damaged supply chain, and the U.S. labor force came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the COVID-19 Omicron variant, vaccines, the winter resurgence, and stats, followed by the January 6 investigation, Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP and predictions about the 2022 mid-term and 2024 presidential elections at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
FOX News Media Has Radio Reporter Position Open. This Washington, DC-based position is for an experienced full-time reporter. FOX News Media says, “You will cover a wide range of political, government, and Congressional stories for FOX News Audio (FOX News Headlines 24/7 and FOX News Terrestrial Radio). You possess strong journalism skills and thrive in a fast pace, deadline driven environment. Most importantly, you have great editorial judgement and the ability to break important news stories.” Learn more and apply here.
Monday Memo: Dissuading the Dug-In. “Argument seems to have displaced baseball as our national pastime. Polls tell us that many Republicans think Donald Trump was re-elected. Almost 60 years later, conspiracy theorists still mutter about who was lurking on the grassy knoll. And as we marked 20 years since 9/11, deniers still tell us the twin towers crashes were as fake as the moon landing,” consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s column. As the unvaccinated remain undaunted and COVID numbers surge, he debriefs a sociologist who explains why facts fizzle, but stories can be more convincing. Read it here.
Pending Business: Asking Questions. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, writes in today’s column, “One of the most important skills to master in your selling life is the art and science of asking questions. The thing about asking questions during your sales calls is the process is more complicated than advertised. Yet, when mastered, the right questions will dictate the next steps to closing your deals.” Read his column here.
WABC Unveils ‘Studio 77’ Video Platform. Pictured above at 77 WABC’s new “Studio 77” during the station’s two-day tribute to the 9/11 victims, first responders, and families are (from l-r): former NYC police commissioner Bernie Kerik, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Red Apple Media chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis, and former New York Governor George Pataki. “Studio 77” is WABC’s new state-of-the-art audio and video facility that offers high-quality video news and entertainment to 77 WABC listeners. “Studio 77” content is streamed at wabcradio.com and via the mobile app and is designed to accommodate live in-studio audience experiences. Catsimaditis says, “When we decided to get into radio, we decided to go big! We bought a 50,000 watt clear channel signal with WABC, and that is just the beginning. We have the big-name talent and the right management to lead our team forward. We’re giving our listeners what they want across all audio, video, and digital channels.”
Round Three of August 2021 PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s August 2021 sweep covered July 22 – August 18. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. Alpha Media news/talk KXL-FM, Portland remains ranked #4 in the market after dropping three-tenths for a 5.2 share ( weekly, 6+ AQH share). Radio One’s Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM sheds two-tenths to finish with a 3.8 share good for the #10 rank. iHeartMedia’s WOAI-AM, San Antonio gains seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish and jumps from the #10 rank to #5. In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK remains ranked #1 after posting another 8.7 share. Audacy’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh adds a half share to finish the survey with a 5.4 share and rises from #6 to #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the two previous rounds) here.
Lynne Hayes-Freeland Leaving Daily Talk Show at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host and radio journalist Lynne Hayes-Freeland is leaving her daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show after her November 12, program. She’s been hosting the early afternoon daypart since January of 2019. Hayes-Freeland will remain with KDKA-AM in various other capacities, including a weekly, one-hour appearance with late morning host Marty Griffin, a weekly column on kdkaradio.com, becoming a bigger part of KDKA’s social media presence, and continuing her monthly hosting duties on “Minority Health Matters,” a program KDKA does in cooperation with Gateway Medical Society, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to combatting racial disparities in health care. Audacy Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Lynne’s career in the Pittsburgh media needs no comment from me. Simply said, she is an icon in the city and a pillar of the community. We have been fortunate to have her be such a large part of KDKA the past three years and are more than thrilled she will continue on the radio station as she transitions to this next phase of her life.”
WDAY, Fargo Unveils New ‘Bonnie and Friends’ Morning Show. Fargo news/talk outlet WDAY Radio announces its new morning drive show that debuts on Thursday (9/16) will be hosted by longtime market media personality Bonnie Amistadi and will be co-hosted by Flag Family Media president Steve Hallstrom. The “Bonnie & Friends” show will air from 5:00 am to 8:30 am. Amistadi says, “I love that feeling of being there early in the morning for my radio listeners. Many of them have become friends and whether they are starting their day, heading to bed, or somewhere in between, I enjoy being the one who delivers their news, weather, and sports. And plenty of laughs too!” Hallstrom comments, “We are thrilled to announce this new program. ‘Bonnie & Friends’ completes a re-engineering of the broadcast day on WDAY Radio, and we’re proud to now have a full lineup of live, local shows between 5:00 am and 6:30 pm each weekday. We’re thankful to the Marcil family and Forum Communications for their partnership in helping us shape a robust lineup that pours massive resources into local news and weather content.”
TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow’s California recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom will be covered by Salem Radio Network News starting at 6:00 pm ET. SRN News is distributing non-stop coverage from Los Angeles, anchored by KRLA “The Answer” host Jennifer Horn and KRLA news anchor Larry Marino until 12:00 midnight ET. SRN News is also providing one-minute Special Reports each hour at :40-past the hour…..Media Staffing Network founder and CEO Laurie Kahn is delivering another IBA ‘members only’ webinar titled ‘Talent Acquisition Tips to Attract a Higher Quality of Job Seeker’ tomorrow (9/14) at 4:00 pm ET. In this webinar, Kahn will detail what it takes to compete to hire top talent. In addition, she’ll demonstrate how to create a job profile that attracts top talent, including updating of company websites and using social media to get the word out…..Newsweek announces the official launch of a new podcast called, “The Daily Break,” hosted by editor-at-large Naveed Jamali, former FBI double agent, Navy intelligence officer and author of How to Catch a Russian Spy. The show is inspired by Jamali’s work in national security and will bring his unique experience in intelligence-focused analysis to trending news stories across the political spectrum…..The GCN nationally syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” program is being added to the program schedule at KGUM-AM, Guam.
9/11 Anniversary, Afghanistan, COVID-19, Newsom Recall Election, Biden Tax Hikes, January 6 Investigation/September Rally, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The remembrance of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001; the criticism of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the controversy over mask & vaccine mandates; the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom and talk host Larry Elder’s chances of taking over; the battle over Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan that includes new taxes; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack & the looming Justice for J6 rally; and the ongoing western wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.