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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Short Week,” looks back at this past week of 5/30 to 6/3. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Joe Thomas, talk show host/program director, WCHV, Charlottesville, VA; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/podcaster, MDEdge Psychcast; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston/founder Samicide.com; and Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; 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; Podcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS 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.
Wynter and Massey Promoted to Full Time at WSB, Atlanta. As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, air personalities Shelley Wynter and MalaniKai Massey are joining the Cox Media Group Atlanta staff as full timers. They began co-hosting “Word on the Street” on news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM on a weekly basis back in 2019. Later, the program was given nightly status airing at 9:00, but conservative Wynter and more liberal Massey remained part-time employees. Along with this promotion, “Word on the Street” assumes the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, effective June 13. Massey tells the AJC that getting the full-time status was a “test of faith and endurance and perseverance. There were times I wanted to quit and give up before I was on WSB. But I kept pushing and keeping an eye on the prize. This has been very emotional.”
Alex Jones Trial Damages Phase Set for September After Bankruptcy Scheme Fails. Several reports, including this one from Kate Marino at Axios, reveal that Alex Jones’ attempt use bankruptcy laws to avoid what could be large damages paid to families of the Sandy Hook school massacre victims, has failed and the September damages trail in Connecticut remains scheduled. At issue here was Jones’ strategy to use a new subchapter of the U.S. bankruptcy code to declare Chapter 11 for three of his companies that did little or no business and thereby triggering an “automatic stay” on the case. But the subchapter was designed to help struggling small business delay payments to creditors while reorganizing and not as a strategy to simply delay a trial. In addition to the Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog seeking to dismiss the bankruptcy cases for Jones’ companies, the Sandy Hook families also dropped their suits against those companies but are continuing to seek damages from Alex Jones himself. The piece notes that in the Connecticut state court damages trial, “Jones may face much higher penalties than the $10 million he offered in the bankruptcy deal.”
Alpha Media Flips CHR KTFM to Sports Talk as Simulcast of KZDC-AM in San Antonio. Sports talk outlet KZDC-AM “San Antonio Sports Star” gets a full-market FM signal as Alpha Media flips CHR KTFM at 94.1 to a simulcast of KZDC. Afternoon host Jason Minnix writes a blog piece on the station’s site announcing the additional signal. He says, “Moving to 94.1 is huge – the signal is 37 times bigger than what we had yesterday. You know I am a music guy so this is like a band that started playing clubs, moved to arenas and is now playing massive stadiums. Like going from Wolff Stadium to Jerry’s World… This move to 94.1 gives San Antonio one of the biggest sports stations signal wise in the state. Dallas has a sports station with a bigger signal. Houston doesn’t. Austin doesn’t.”
TALKERS News Notes. In a move announced by the company’s board of directors, Saga Communications declares a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share, an increase from the previous quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share. This dividend will be paid on July 1, 2022, to shareholders of record on June 13, 2022. The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the quarterly dividend will be approximately $1.2 million. The quarterly cash dividend will be funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet. Including this dividend, the company will have paid over $79 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012…..iHeartMedia and acclaimed film and television producer Meryl Poster, the founder of Superb Entertainment, announce the season two launch of “Call Your Grandmother,” the show that features New York grandmothers – 83-year-old Ellin Grodsky and 92-year-old Rita Kaye – and celebrates Jewish grandmothers and the irreverent qualities that make them natural comedians…..Mark Fratrik, Ph.D., BIA Advisory Services’ SVP and chief economist, is retiring from the company, effective June 30. BIA says he’ll continue as a strategic advisor and analyst to the company offering continuity for the firm’s forecasting, insights and analytics services that will now be led by Nicole Ovadia, VP of forecasting and analysis. BIA CEO and founder Tom Buono comments, “When I look at the accomplishments of BIA over Mark’s 21-year tenure at BIA, there’s a direct correlation between our success and Mark’s dedication and expertise. Mark’s competence in analyzing the economic forces driving the local media industry has guided our forecasting efforts and allowed us to continuously deliver high-quality, reliable data and insights. His analyses have been integral to informing and influencing decisions at the highest levels of our industry and the government, and his service to BIA has been immeasurable.”
Mass Shootings Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 30 – June 3. The recent spate of mass shootings and the controversy over gun control legislation was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the state of the economy, the national mood, and Elon Musk’s battle with Tesla employees, followed by the infection rate of COVID-19 cases 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.
KNX, Los Angeles Celebrates 50 Years as All-News Station. Los Angeles all-news KNX “1070 News Radio” is celebrating its 50thanniversary as a news outlet. In a press release, Entercom states that “more than 1.5 million people tune in to KNX 1070 News Radio every week for its comprehensive coverage of local, national and international news in addition to its trademark traffic and weather updates every 10 minutes on the 5s. Traffic and news content is provided daily by the area’s largest team of dedicated professionals.” KNX Director of programming Ken Charles says, “Since 1968 we have seen nine presidents, six governors, and six mayors. Through it all, KNX has been that one consistent source for integrity, trust, and credibility.” Pictured above receiving an official proclamation from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (center) are (from l-r) KNX anchors Frank Mottek, Julie Chi, Charles, Charles Feldman and Dick Helton.
Jamie Allman Begins Streaming Show on Monday. St. Louis talk show host Jamie Allman is launching a new, daily morning drive talk show on Monday (5/7) called “Radio Free Allman” that he’s streaming via his website. His site says, “They tried to silence the Allman voice but he is back! We are so excited to announce that the ‘Radio Free Allman’ show will officially launch May 7th, 2018 from 6am-9am. ‘Radio Free Allman’ isn’t bound by a radio dial, it’s digital radio available on ANY cell phone, desktop, or laptop in the WORLD!” Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Allman is suing Entercom and Emmis over his dismissal from KFTK-FM last month.
Cumulus and Entercom Settle $11.6 Million Claim. This settlement is the result of an agreement between Cumulus and Entercom over numerous contracts between Cumulus’ Westwood One and CBS RADIO that Entercom inherited with its acquisition of CBS. Cumulus is agreeing to cut a check to Entercom for $11.6 million to settle this pre-petition claim.
TALKERS News Notes. In San Antonio, Rob Thompson is the new program director of Alpha Media’s sports talk KZDC-AM/K233DB “ESPN San Antonio.” Thompson is the afternoon drive co-host of “The Blitz with Jason and Rob” with Jason Minnix…..Next Friday (5/11), KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101.1” talk show host Lars Larson is moderating a live GOP Oregon primary gubernatorial debate with the three front-running Republican candidates for Oregon governor: Knute Buehler, Sam Carpenter and Greg Wooldridge. The debate will take place in the Bloodworks Live Studio in downtown Portland from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and be live on the Lars Larson show. It’ll also be heard on the 24 affiliate stations of the Radio Northwest Network…..Salem Media Group welcomes Carolyn Cassidy back to the company as general manager for its Columbus operations that include news/talk WTOH “98.9 The Answer” and two sister religious outlets. Cassidy was general manager for Salem’s Denver stations prior to her joining the Denver cluster of Wilks Broadcasting…..Entercom announces that it is acquiring the rights to University of Oregon sports play-by-play after inking a four-year deal with the school. Games and related programming will air on sports talk KFXX, Portland “1080 The Fan” and will include football, basketball and baseball. Alpha Media’s crosstown KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game” holds the rights through the end of the baseball season…..Today is day two of the 20th annual Cares for Kids Radiothon on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGY-AM/FM, Albany and sister hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River.” Proceeds from the two-day radiothon broadcast from Albany Medical Center will benefit the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center…..Entercom makes a call letter change for new sports talker “97.3 The Fan” in San Diego. The former CHR station drops KEGY-FM for KWFN-FM.
The Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 30-May 4. The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Trump’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal. Coming in at #3 was the Stormy Daniels case, followed by U.S.-Mexico border security and the related caravan asylum seekers 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. View this week’s entire chart here.
Christine Hassler Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Best-selling author, keynote speaker, master coach, podcaster and TV host Christine Hassler is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” A world-renowned evangelist for the nascent field of “Spiritual Psychology,” Hassler is the co-host and relationship expert on TLC’s “The Spouse House,” in addition to hosting a weekly podcast titled, “Over It & On With It.” Harrison and Hassler engage in a deep-dive conversation about the intersection between mind and soul, including social media addiction, the characteristics of Millennials, and dealing with life’s major disappointments. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hip hop is back on the 93.3 FM frequency in Seattle as iHeartMedia flips CHR KPWK and returns the KUBE calls to the station. The company is keeping Carla Marie & Anthony in the morning drive slot and the rest of the jock schedule includes Shay, Eric Rosado, and Bootleg Kev. It is playing 14,000 commercial-free songs in a row. iHM region president Robert Dove says, “An iconic brand has been missing in Seattle radio. KUBE is a name that’s been part of Seattle’s music consciousness and lifestyle for over 20 years. Listeners have spoken how they’ve missed KUBE. Well Seattle, KUBE is back!”…..Programming pro Smokey Rivers joins Entercom to serve as program director for the company’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound.” Rivers has been serving as director of operations and PD at Scripps’ AC KMXZ, Tucson. Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “Smokey joins ‘The Sound’ at a great time as we are already experiencing phenomenal growth with the station. Our on-air hosts John Fisher and Delilah are just getting started. We are thrilled and excited Smokey will be joining our talented team of program directors here in Seattle.” Prior to joining Scripps, Rivers served as VP of programming for iHeartMedia Phoenix and, before that, as VP of AC stations for CBS RADIO…..Afternoon air personality Ryan Nelson exits iHeartMedia’s country WFUS, Tampa. Nelson also served as APD and music director for the station…..At Scripps’ country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri, Nancy Simpson moves out of the newsroom at the cluster and joins Cash Williams as co-host on the morning show. Simpson says, “I felt that a change might be good for my soul, but I really love it here at KTTS. This is my work family. With this move into the morning show, I get to show the lighter side of my personality, but still be at home.”