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Thursday, May 5, 2022

| May 5, 2022

Urban One First Quarter 2022 Net Revenue Rises 23%. Reporting financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Urban One, Inc. – parent of Radio One – says its net revenue was approximately $112.3 million, an increase of 23% from the same period in 2021. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $48.4 million, an increase of 33% from the same period in 2021. Net income was approximately $16.4 million or $0.32 per share (basic) compared to $7,000 or $0.00 per share (basic) for the same period in 2021. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III, states, “We had extremely strong first quarter performance across the platform, with advertising revenues up double-digit percentages in all of our operating segments. Digital revenues were up 49.5%, cable TV advertising revenues were up 46.9%, and radio advertising, excluding political and digital, was up 17.4%. This enabled us to grow Adjusted EBITDA by 38.9% year-over-year, and by $14.3 million or 51.6% vs. Q1 2019. Looking back at pre-pandemic revenues, when we aggregate our radio broadcasting, syndication, events and digital operations, net revenues were up 11.5% compared to Q1 2019. Second quarter core radio advertising is pacing up mid-single digits, as we start to lap the tougher comps from 2021. Our balance sheet continues to strengthen, with $166.4 million of cash and net leverage down to 4.07x.”

 

Cumulus Announces $25 Million Stock Buyback. On the heels of yesterday’s first quarter financial report and the board’s authorization of a $50 million buyback program, Cumulus Media Inc. announces its intention to commence a “modified Dutch auction” tender offer to purchase up to $25 million of shares of its Class A common stock, or such lesser number of shares of its Class A common stock as are properly tendered and not properly withdrawn, at a price not greater than $16.50 and not less than $14.50 per share of Class A common stock, to the tendering shareholder in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest (the “Offer”). Cumulus president and CEO Mary G. Berner says, “Following yesterday’s announcement of the board’s authorization of a $50 million share buyback program, we are launching this tender as a first step in our capital return plan. This action is underpinned by our strong financial and operating momentum, our continued belief that the company is significantly undervalued and our desire to allow shareholders who seek it the ability to take advantage of the liquidity we can provide them. It is also our expectation that, even with this tender offer, we will be below our target of 3.5x net leverage by year end with significant continuing liquidity and financial flexibility for accretive M&A.” Cumulus will conduct the Offer by means of a procedure commonly called a “modified Dutch auction.” This procedure allows shareholders to select the price, within a price range specified by Cumulus, and the number of shares they are willing to sell at that price (or, should a higher price be determined as the “purchase price,” such higher price). The Offer is being made under Cumulus’s previously announced $50 million share repurchase program.

 

Saga Communications Net Revenue Increases 12% in Q1 of 2022. For the first three months of 2022, Saga Communications, Inc. net revenue increased 12% to $25 million compared to $22.3 million for the same period in 2021. Station operating income increased 17.8% to $5.6 million and operating income was $1.7 million compared to $883,000 for same period a year ago. Saga reports net income of $1.2 million compared to net income of $758 thousand for Q1 of 2021. The company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share on April 8, 2022. The aggregate amount of the quarterly dividend was approximately $970 thousand. Additionally, the company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per share and a special dividend of $0.50 per share on January 14, 2022. To date Saga has paid over $78 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012. Saga Communications reports that it had $55.2 million in cash on hand as of March 31, 2022.

 

Russia-Ukraine War Correspondent Gregg Stebben is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran media editor/reporter Gregg Stebben is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Stebben is a former longtime editor of Men’s Health magazine who served 20 years as its radio spokesperson. He is currently reporting on a volunteer basis back to the U.S. via the beamz.live platform from Poland and Ukraine where he has been interviewing refugees and local citizens in both adjacent nations in addition to doing whatever he can to provide comfort and support to the frightened, displaced people in conjunction with international humanitarian groups. Harrison caught up with Stebben on the Ukrainian side of the border on May 2. They discuss the human element of the crisis and the catastrophic impact and escalating deadly potential of the war. Harrison states, “Not only is the information being gathered by Stebben of great value, he is a shining example of independent talk radio reporting in action serving as a one-man field unit reporting on the war while supporting Ukraine as a volunteer. I find his effort truly inspirational.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Premiere of 2,000 Mules Takes Place at Mar-a-Lago. The premiere of Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film 2,000 Mules took place last night (5/4) at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida as former president Donald J. Trump presided over the event. The film was executive produced by Salem Media Group and a number of its current and former talk hosts appear in the documentary. Pictured above are (from l-r): D’Souza, Sebastian Gorka, Eric Metaxas, Trump, Larry Elder, Charlie Kirk, and Dennis Prager.

 

Triton Digital Streaming Metrics Ranker for March 2022 Released. The Streaming Metrics Ranker for the U.S. for March of this year has been released by Triton Digital. The ranker is based on Average Active Sessions and charts the top 25 performing digital audio publishers. For the daypart 6am-12am Mon-Sun, iHeartMedia leads the pack with 303,162 AAS. Some of the other radio-related companies appearing in the ranker include at #2 NPR Member Stations (81,035 AAS), #3 Audacy (69,281 AAS), #4 Cumulus Streaming Network (42,569 AAS), #7 Beasley Broadcasting Corporate (19,203 AAS), #8 Hubbard Broadcasting (15,233 AAS), #11 Salem Communications (9,591 AAS), #12 Urban One (8,577 AAS), and #13 Bonneville International 7,612 AAS). See the complete ranker here.

 

WCKG-AM, Chicago Owner Buying Time on WLS-AM to Reach Voters for U.S. Senate Campaign. Chicagoland radio station owner Matt Dubiel – whose company DuPage Radio LLC owns and operates talk outlet WCKG-AM, Elmhurst – is running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican and is taking an interesting tack in his campaign. He says in a press release that “in the spirit of former presidential candidate and businessman Ross Perot, Illinois businessman Matt Dubiel has purchased airtime on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM.” He will host a two-hour show every Saturday afternoon from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm until the primary election on June 28. Dubiel adds, “Nothing can replace the reach of radio. I’m consistently being shadow-banned on social media, corporate media refuses to cover my campaign, and the issues we need to discuss like CRT/SEL in schools, medical freedom, and other hot topics are virtually banned on social platforms that censor We the People, in America! The Illinois GOP even has me blocked on Twitter, and I’m running on their ticket! Hosting my own show on the radio home of Bongino, Shapiro, and Levin will allow Dubiel to speak directly to the people. The people in every county across Illinois need to know they have a guy who will actually represent them for a change. I am looking forward to talking to ALL Illinoisians about the issues that matter to them.” The 45-year-old Dubiel says he began his career in radio at 17, interning for the legendary Steve Dahl. He worked his way up through the radio ranks in Chicago, serving as a producer and talent, before transitioning into management.

 

Jeff Katz Show Honored by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. Pictured above is WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive talk host Jeff Katz (right) with Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (left) as the governor recognizes the 6th anniversary of Katz’s “Lt. Jan McTernan Blue Friday Honors Program” that pays tribute to Central Virginia police officers by highlighting their positive contributions.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Jon Zaghloul is being promoted to sports director at DuPage Radio LLC’s WCKG-AM, Elmhurst, Illinois. In this new role, Zaghloul will continue to host his weekend program “Sports Talk Chicago” on the station. He says, “I am honored to be a part of this exciting new challenge with WCKG. Over the past two years with the station, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chance to provide Chicagoans with hard-hitting sports opinions and insightful interviews. Now, it is time to expand our iconic brand, and I am actively on the hunt for both fresh, and established local sports talent to bolster our daily lineup.”…..Los Angeles Comic Con, partners with iHeartRadio to produce the podcast, “Comic Con Meta*Pod.” The show launched on Wednesday (5/4) with a “May the 4th Star Wars” special featuring “Mandalorian” actor Giancarlo Esposito, “Clone Wars” and “Bad Batch” composer Kevin Kiner, and more. The podcast is hosted by Hector Navarro and art/culture critic Joelle Monique…..Pictured below is “Florida Man Radio” afternoon drive host Shannon Burke (left) with former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik (right). Kerik appeared on Burke’s radio show on Wednesday (5/4) and the two discussed Kerik’s former police chief role in New York City, working with Donald Trump, the January 6 Committee, and more. “Florida Man Radio” is broadcast on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach.

 

Roe v Wade Leak/Protests, Fed Raises Interest Rates/Economy, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, and Dave Chapelle Attack Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4). The leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v Wade and the protests taking place around the country; the Fed raises interest rates a half percent and the effect of high gas and food prices; the primary elections for November’s midterm races and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its effects on Europe and the global economy; Donald Trump Jr. sits for testimony before the January 6 committee; concerns about new Omicron variants causing a summer wave of infections; and Dave Chapelle is attacked while on stage at the Hollywood Bowl were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

| February 23, 2022

iHeartMedia 2021 Fourth Quarter Revenue Up 14%. Reporting its financial results from the fourth quarter of 2021 and the year as a whole, iHeartMedia, Inc. says Q4 revenue was $1.06 billion, up 14% over the same period in 2020. Reporting by segment, iHeartMedia says its Digital Audio Group revenue was $273.2 million, up 59% over Q4 in 2020; Podcast Revenue was $96.6 million, an increase of 130% year over year; and Broadcast Radio revenue was $519.1 million, up 4.9%. Net income for Q4 of 2021 was $112 million compared to net income of $2.9 million in Q4 of 2020. For the whole of 2021, the company reports a net loss of $8.4 million compared to the net loss of $1.9 billion reported for all of 2020. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We are pleased to report another strong quarter and to wrap up a very strong year, further evidence of our momentum and the continuing digital transformation of iHeartMedia into a data-led, digital business with important new platforms like podcasting built on the unparalleled scale and audience reach of our broadcast radio assets. We believe that this strong performance in Q4 and full year positions us well for continued growth in 2022.”

 

Audacy Q4 2021 Revenue Climbs 8%. The company reveals that net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021 was $344.7 million, an increase of 8% over the same period in 2020, led by double digit growth in both digital and spot radio. Audacy reports that core spot revenue (local plus national excluding political) was $218.4 million, up 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 while digital revenue was $68.1 million, up 16% year over year. Operating income for the quarter was $48.1 million, compared to an operating loss of $204.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Audacy reports Q4 2021 net income of $21.4 million compared to the net loss of $162.3 million reported in Q4 2020. For the whole of 2021, Audacy reports a net loss of $3.6 million compared to the net loss of $242.2 million reported for all of 2020. President and CEO David J. Field states, “In 2021, we accelerated our organizational development through a number of important strategic acquisitions, organic growth initiatives, structural improvements, and content and senior talent additions. This was also the year in which we rebranded the company to reflect our evolution into a leading, multi-platform audio content and entertainment company with scaled audience reach and important leadership positions across the full spectrum of the dynamic, growing audio market. Our 2021 acquisitions of Podcorn and AmperWave, plus BetQL just prior to the start of the year, are important additions to our capabilities that will fuel accelerated growth and enhance how we serve our listeners and customers. Audacy today is well positioned to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities within audio at the same time as we anticipate the continuing recovery of radio ad spending. We are off to a very good start to 2022 and our team is excited about the year ahead.”

 

Live From Donetsk. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has escalated to the major news/talk radio topic on the table triggering a scramble for hosts to sort out the facts from the fiction as a variety of perspectives – some quite controversial – are being aired out in the national conversation. WABC, New York all-night host Frank Morano provided the listeners of his program “The Other Side of Midnight” with something to think about early Monday morning (2/21) in terms of the “other side” of the story.  He conducted a long-distance, live phone interview with a man named Russell Bentley, an American expat and avowed communist who has lived in Donetsk for eight years after moving there to fight, alongside the separatists, against the Ukrainian government. Morano tells TALKERS, “I think Bentley did a good job not only describing what’s happening there with Russian troops being on the ground, but also explaining the mentality of how people there feel. I think it’s so unique compared to what folks are doing with this in talk radio. Russia’s recognition of Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic has drawn global condemnation, with the U.S. and several European countries agreeing to move quickly to respond with economic penalties. This was truly something different.” To listen to the entire interview, please click here.

 

Round One of January PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2022 PPM survey is released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2022 sweep covered January 6 – February 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR rose seven-tenths to a 2.8 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) to finish ranked #13 while Red Apple Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM also rose seven-tenths to finish with a 3.0 share good for the #12 rank in the market. Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM, Chicago is back in the #1 spot after adding a full share for a 5.7 share finish. Across town at Nexstar’s news/talk WGN-AM, a 1.7 share increase gives the station a 5.2 share finish good for the #4 rank in the market. After a series of declines, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta tacks on 1.1 shares for a 6.9 share finish that pushes it up to the #3 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

 

 

WOR-AM, New York Turns 100. Pictured above is the staff of iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR-AM, New York celebrating the station’s 100th anniversary on the air. It was on February 22, 1922 that the station first went on air and the celebration included on-air reminiscences from past WOR personalities including: John R. Gambling, George Meade, Joan Hamburg, Shelly Strickler, Bill Korbel, and Daria Dolan. Above are (from l-r): assistant program director Scott Lakefield, creative services director Howard Hoffman; morning co-host Len Berman, morning show executive producer Natalie Vacca, morning co-host Michael Riedel, midday host Mark Simone, and program director Tom Cuddy.

 

 

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Broadcast from Mar-a-Lago. The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk program “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” did a live remote broadcast from The Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach on Tuesday (2/22) during which former President Donald Trump joined the program for a full hour to talk about subjects including the current crisis in Ukraine, COVID mandates, Democratic contenders in 2024, the Canadian Trucker protests, his future political goals and more. Trump also complimented the duo on the success of their show, saying “Congratulations. You’re knocking it dead. And that’s good. Rush would be proud of you.”

 

Michael Harrison Discusses the Concept of the “Media Station” on New PodcastTALKERS founder Michael Harrison presents a detailed explanation of the emerging concept he calls the “media station” in the debut installment of a new podcast titled, “Masters In Media,” hosted by Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick of the firm, Goldman/McCormick Public Relations. Harrison explains the impact multimedia cross-platform branding is having on 20th century analog entities such as radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, magazines, movie theaters and record companies. He states, “All these different entities operated within their own lanes and were quite isolated from each other in terms of their mother platforms. Now there is no solitary mother platform for any media organization and companies cannot put all their ‘eggs in one basket.’ Today’s radio station is actually a media station. So are today’s newspapers and the like. They are all in the business of producing and distributing audio, video, graphics, text, information and entertainment.” Harrison also discusses what it takes to make it these days as a radio talk show host. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Radio syndication pro Adam Wilbur is promoted to SVP of affilaites sales & operations at Compass Media Networks. Wilbur continues to be based out of the company’s Los Angeles office and continues to spearhead the company’s affiliate sales, affiliate marketing, affiliate technical operations, and select content relationships. He says, “This 13-year journey has been an incredible ride. Thank you to all the hosts, producers, colleagues, affiliates and potential affiliates that make each day unique and unpredictable. I love it.”…..CNN Audio expands its podcast programming with the upcoming debut of “Diversifying” on February 28. Fostering insightful discussions about how the financial system can work for us, instead of against us, host Delyanne Barros creates a welcome space for people of color, women, single households, and others who have traditionally been left out of conversations around personal finance. Throughout the series, Barros speaks with real people, as well as with money experts, who are faced with the challenge of balancing cultural expectations with their own financial needs. Whether that’s struggling to negotiate pay as a woman of color, or supporting one’s parents as they enter retirement, “Diversifying” offers listeners actionable steps toward better financial health, all while validating struggles with money, no matter what the starting point.

 

Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, SCOTUS Trump Ruling, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Arbery Verdict/Floyd Case, Inflation/The Economy, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/22). The Western condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine incursion after his recognition of separatist provinces; the slowing rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Canada’s prosecution of trucker protesters, and threats of a trucker protest in Washington, DC; the Supreme Court rules against Donald Trump in his bid to keep his records from the January 6 committee; November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the jury deliberates in the federal hate crime trial of the three men found guilty if killing Ahmaud Arbery; the soaring rate of inflation and the sliding financial markets; and the frigid winter weather affecting much of the U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

| February 21, 2017

Mary Walter Joins WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s ‘Mornings On The Mall.’  Radio pro Mary Walter is named the co-host of the “Mornings On The Mall” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Walter is working with co-host Brian Wilson.  She takes over for Larry O’Connor, who recently moved to the afternoon drive daypart.  Walter was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WHAS, Louisville, hosting the evening program.  She’s been a frequent guest host on WMAL in addition to guest host stints on FOX News Radio and SiriusXM’s The Patriot channel.  WMAL program director Bill Hess comments, “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Midday Show.  The new midday show at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee is being unveiled.  The station moved Jeff Wagner to the late morning slot that opened up with the retirement of Charlie Sykes at the end of last year.  Now, taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is the “Scaffidi & Bilstad” show with Steve Scaffidi (center) and executive producer Erik Bilstad (left).  Scaffidi was most recently mayor of suburban Oak Creek and an account executive at the Leonard & Finco Public Relations firm.  He’s resigned from both posts to join WTMJ.  Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer states, “We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection to add to his take on the news of the day.  Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience, beyond broadcasting.”  News anchor and reporter Colleen Boland (right) will man the newsroom during the program.  The show debuts on February 28.

ABC News Radio Makes Staffing Changes; Gearing Towards Covering Breaking News.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS magazine that the news organization is making staffing changes that signal a shift from putting its primary resources into newscasts and focusing more intently on the coverage of breaking news, “reflecting immediacy and producing additional program content” for their approximately 1,575 affiliates.  ABC News Radio says it has parted ways with a handful of employees but is in the process of hiring for a number of positions that will exceed those eliminated.  Those include: Affiliate Solutions Manager, Associate Producer, Country Reporter/Producer, Urban Reporter/Producer, and WGA Newswriter/Producer.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS, “These changes allow ABC News Radio to provide more two-ways, breaking news and anchored coverage which have become more important to stations.  It is never easy when fellow employees leave and we wish the very best to these colleagues.  The media landscape is always evolving and it’s critical we’re meeting stations’ needs every step of the way.”

Erik Kuselias to Host Daily Talk Show on Genesis Communications Florida Talk Stations.  Known primarily for his work in the sports media business, Erik Kuselias is expanding his reach in Florida by hosting a daily, two-hour talk show on Genesis Communications-owned news/talk outlets WWBA, Tampa and WIXC, Titusville (on the Space Coast).  Kuselias – a former ESPN and NBC Sports personality – currently hosts a morning drive sports talk show on the company’s sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  He’s continuing in that role in addition to the new program that airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda states, “This is a natural progression for EK.  We launched EK on the sports stations in both Tampa and Orlando last year.  He is incredibly talented and will produce one of talk radio’s best programs.  He will also continue to provide his brand of content on the company digital platforms, ‘News Talk Florida’ and ‘Sports Talk Florida.’”

Bubba the Love Sponge Files New Counterclaim Against Nielsen.  The first time Bubba the Love Sponge filed a counterclaim against Nielsen, the court denied the motion ruling that it was difficult to discern the relevant facts due to the heavily redacted documents supplied by plaintiff Nielsen.  That counterclaim included third parties Cox Media Group and CMG employee (and WHPT, Tampa personality) Mike Calta.  But the denial was without prejudice, allowing Bubba’s lawyers to try again.  And he has, this time leaving Cox and Calta out of the counterclaim.  The counterclaim still alleges Nielsen entered into a conspiracy with Cox Media Group to get Bubba off the air in Tampa and interfere with his ability to do business with Beasley Media Group (owner of Tampa affiliate WBRN).  The specific counterclaims are: Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Civil Conspiracy.

KFYO, Lubbock, Texas Names Dave King & Matt Martin Morning Hosts.  Friday (2/17) was the last day for the “First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac” on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KFYO, Lubbock, Texas.  Assuming the morning show role are Dave King (right) and Matt Martin (left).  The station says, “Both Dave and Matt are easy going, view the world from a conservative viewpoint, and want to interact with KFYO listeners.  King is owner of Dave King Advertising in Lubbock.  Matt Martin is a realtor with The Wyatt Team at Keller Williams.

Neuhoff Ups Byerly to DOS and Associate GM for Decatur Station Group.  Moving up from her general sales manager position at Neuhoff Communications’ Decatur, Illinois cluster is Kathy Byerly.  She’s now director of sales and associate general manager for the group that includes news/talk WSOY, sports talk WDZ, hip hop WCZQ “HOT 105.5,” CHR WSOY-FM “Y103,” and country WDZQ “95Q.”  Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey states, “Kathy is a wonderful success story.  She has grown a career from the front desk to market leadership.  You can’t get much better than that.  The group of Decatur stations and digital products are not only the market leaders, they also have been recognized among the best in the industry.  Kathy will help support those traditions while driving more business to our advertising partners.”

Hanging Out at the Club.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk host Michael Savage and his son, Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, crossed paths with President Donald Trump at the chief executive’s famous Palm Beach, Florida private club, Mar-a-Lago, this weekend.  They were attending a dinner hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy when the president stopped by to say hello.  Pictured (l-r): Ruddy, Trump, Savage, and Weiner.

Limbaugh-Touted Book Debuts at #6 on NYT Bestseller List. The latest book by conservative writer David HorowitzBig Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America – debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #6 in the hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction categories.  Newsmax reports that the book was released the week of President Trump’s inauguration and is being praised by Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative media figures, for its predictions about Trump’s agenda.  Horowitz is founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

New Trump Travel Order, McMaster Named National Security Advisor, Trump’s Sweden Comment, McCain vs Trump, UK’s Anti-Trump Debate, Uber Sexual Harassment Scandal, Yiannopoulos Controversies, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The Trump Administration issues new travel order exempting green card holders; President Donald Trump names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster national security advisor; the controversy over Trump’s allusion to crime in Sweden and filmmaker Ami Horowitz’s allegations that violent crime there has spiked due to immigrants; Republican Senator John McCain’s role as a major critic of Trump’s policies; the British House of Commons debates denying President Trump’s state visit; the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate headquarters and the company’s hiring former AG Eric Holder to investigate; the controversies surrounding media figure Milo Yiannopoulos, including his being uninvited to CPAC and Simon and Schuster refusing to release his book; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Phoenix market broadcast legend Pat McMahon is being roasted on March 15 at local comedy club Stand Up Live in an event being organized by Bonneville news/talk outlet KTAR-FM.  The “Tip of the Hat to Pat” roast is being hosted by KNIX personality Tim Hattrick and will feature rock legend Alice Cooper, as well as local celebrities Jude LaCava from Fox 10, John Holmberg from KUPD, authors Jana Bommersbach and Rita Davenport and former ADL director Bill Straus.  McMahon says, “I’m feeling both honored and terrified at the prospect of this event.  But you can be sure that I’ll be able to dish it out, just as well as I can take it.”…..New York Mets flagship station WOR, New York announces it will air play-by-play for 15 spring training games, beginning on February 24 when the Mets take on the Boston Red Sox…..The New York Times recently published a feature story about Premiere Networks host George Noory.  In the piece, the “Coast to Coast AM” host discusses how “Coast to Coast AM” has evolved over the years, his open approach to stories and topics, and his relationship with his audience.  Read the story here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Atlanta cluster of Cox Media Group, Jaleigh Long is promoted to director of sales.  She moves up from her general sales manager role.  She’ll oversee the sales efforts for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM,” and country simulcast WNGC/WTSH “Your Georgia Country.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois “104.9 The X,” Zander – who’s been morning host and PD since joining the station in August of last year – moves to the afternoon drive slot.  At the same time, Lori joins the station from crosstown competitor WKGL “96.7 The Eagle.”…..In the Lexington, Kentucky market, iHeartMedia drops sports talk on the simulcast of WWTF-AM and translator W239DJ at 97.7 FM and flips it to rock as “WTF 97.7 Lexington’s Rock Alternative.”  Air personalities include Aly, Big Rig, Audrey, and Shroom…..Binnie Media says good bye to classic music on its WBQX, Thomaston, Maine and translator W245AA, Portland at 96.9 FM.  WBQX takes on the classic hits format “FRANK FM” while the translator is simulcasting country station WTHT, Auburn “99.9 The Wolf.”

iHeartRadio Music Awards Announces Best New Artist Nominees.  When the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of the awards to be given will be the Best New Artist.  The ultimate winner will be chosen by fans from all categories of popular music.  The first step was naming the nominees in each category.  Now, the finalists have been named.  They are: Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: The Strumbellas; Best New Country Artist: Kelsea Ballerini; Best New Hip-Hop Artist: Chance the Rapper; Best New Latin Artist: CNCO; Best New Regional Mexican Artist: Joss Favela; Best New Pop Artist: The Chainsmokers; and Best New R&B Artist: Bryson Tiller. The awards show will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET and simulcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio.