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Friday, February 18, 2022

| February 18, 2022

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,“Good Gawd Y’All,” looks back at this past week of 2/14 to 2/18. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSTodd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; Mike Bendixen, Canadian broadcasting executive/personality, Toronto; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Michael Riedel, theater critic/talk show host, WOR, New York; Matthew B. Harrison, attorney/associate publisher, TALKERS. 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; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; 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 NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast 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.

Brett Winterble Celebrates Second Anniversary of Joining WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Talk radio host Brett Winterble begins his third year as host of the afternoon drive show on Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Winterble, who spent almost 10 years as a producer of “The Rush Limbaugh Show” before launching his own talk show in 2008, joined WBT in February of 2020 after hosting a talk show at KFMB-AM, San Diego, among other outlets. WBT program director Mike Schaefer says, “Brett made an immediate impact on WBT two years ago, and our listeners have welcomed him into their lives every day from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.  We couldn’t be happier that he is starting his third year as we move towards WBT’s 100th Anniversary on April 10.”

iHeartMedia to Use Veritone Technology to Translate Podcasts into Foreign Languages. A deal between iHeartMedia and Veritone, Inc. will see the former use Veritone’s synthetic voice solution that allows celebrities, athletes, influencers, broadcasters, podcasters and other talent across numerous industries to securely create and monetize verified synthetic voices that can be transformed into different languages, dialects, accents and more. iHeartMedia will leverage Veritone’s AI platform to make more shows across the iHeartPodcast Network available in multiple languages. The first use case is to translate iHeartMedia’s marquee podcasts for Spanish-speaking audiences. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne says, “With the hyper-growth of our podcast network over the past decade, we are always looking for what is new and next in the medium, too – and Veritone’s synthetic voice solution is a great example of that. Being able to easily offer our podcasts in other languages, in the talents’ unique style, will be an awesome and innovative way to grow market share in the global marketplace.”

Michael Harrison Guests on Maria Milito PodcastTALKERS founder Michael Harrison is this week’s guest on the iHeartMedia podcast, “Maria’s Mutts & Stuff,” hosted by longtime Q104.3, New York classic rock midday personality, Maria Milito. The podcast series focuses on Milito’s ongoing interest in animals and their welfare – a passion shared by Harrison. The two old radio friends discuss Harrison’s YouTube hit “I Know You’re Real” which he co-wrote and performed with the legendary album rock band Gunhill Road that was released last spring on the group’s fourth album, What Year Is This! They talk about animals, cosmic consciousness and, of course, their experiences in radio. You can check out the podcast by clicking here. To view the video of “I Know You’re Real” please click here.

Promotions and Staff Additions at Today’s Homeowner Media. There are a number of personnel moves to report at Today’s Homeowner Media, the company that produces the “Today’s Homeowner” radio and television shows starring Danny Lipford. First, Stephanie Greenwood rises from VP of PR, marketing and digital to general manager of the company. Scott Basilotta, formerly director of television and radio syndication, is now vice president of distribution, and Thomas Boni is now digital content director. Danny Lipford says, “I couldn’t be more pleased with the performances of these three individuals and how each has shown growth in their areas of expertise year over year. I look forward to their continued leadership of the company and the impact their efforts will have our Today’s Homeowner Media’s success.” Additionally, the company brings aboard Carey Bradley as content coordinator, Glenn Johnson as audio operations manager, and Karmen Baker as PR & marketing manager.

TALKERS News Notes. The Talk Shows USA-syndicated program “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” adds new affiliates WORK, Canandaigua, New York; KDGO, Durango, Colorado; KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska; and WLNL, Horseheads, New York. Gresham says, “The continued growth of the show mirrors the spectacular increase in the number of gun owners across the country. More than 10 million people have purchased a first gun over the last two years, and the research shows this group to be fully representative of America’s demographics. These new owners need and want information on safe gun handling and storage, and we provide that weekly on Gun Talk.”…..PodcastOne launches the “Third Wheel with Jenny Mollen” podcast on February 22.  “Third Wheel with Jenny Mollen” features the actress and best-selling author in conversation with some of the most-talked-about couples in pop culture, from Chelsea Handler and Jo Koi to Karamo Brown and Carlos Medel to Heather and Terry Dubrow, discovering what makes a healthy, committed relationship. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Jenny Mollen’s witty, raw and honest commentary on relationships, parenting, and life in general delivers an honest take on topics at the forefront of everyone’s minds. PodcastOne is thrilled to give Jenny a platform to explore other people’s insights and thoughts on relationships and couple goals. We cannot wait for everyone to be able to listen and hear what celebrity relationships are all about.”…..SiriusXM announces today that TikTok star Tinx, a.k.a. Christina Najjar, joins the company to create a range of new audio content for SiriusXM and its platforms. Those include a new podcast titled, “It’s Me, Tinx,” and a weekly radio show, “It’s Me, Tinx Live,” on SiriusXM’s Stars channel…..Your Public Radio, operator of Baltimore public radio outlets WYPR-FM and WTMD-FM and publisher of award-winning podcasts, announces a new, limited podcast series, “Wavelength: Baltimore’s Public Radio Journey” that examines the history and impact of public radio in Baltimore. Hosted by noted storyteller and actress Maria Broom, and featuring interviews and archival tape, the podcast will take listeners on a journey from public radio’s early days to now. Listeners will learn about the evolution of WYPR, WTMD, WEAA and WBJC, how the stations responded to major news stories, featured local and national musicians, and how they found their place in Baltimore’s current radio scene.

COVID-19 Vaccines, Masks, Mandates & Canadian Truckers Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 14-18. COVID-19 vaccines, mandates, masks and the Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Russia’s continuing buildup of military forces at the Ukraine border and the threat of a global conflict, followed by the combination of the economy, record-setting inflation, the supply chain woes, the labor force, and remote working at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Monday, August 3, 2020

| August 3, 2020

Monday Memo: 2 Magic Words. Your Mom and Dad were right. “Please” and “Thank you” will distinguish you, particularly in these coarse, troubled times. And in this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke makes the case for “two more ‘Magic words’” broadcasters and podcasters should use as often as possible. Read it here.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Stimulus Bill, Presidential Race/Vote by Mail, Portland Protests, Tropical Storm Isaias/SoCal Apple Fire, Microsoft-TikTok Deal, and Pro Sports Challenges Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the stalled stimulus talks in Congress as the previous package expires; the November presidential election and President Trump’s remark that it should be delayed due to concerns about vote-by-mail fraud; the violent protests continuing in Portland; Tropical Storm Isaias hits the Southeast Coast and thousands are evacuated in Southern California due to the Apple Fire; Microsoft’s deal to acquire TikTok from its Chinese developer; and COVID-19 takes its toll on U.S. pro sports leagues were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Gone Too Soon. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about two radio professionals who passed away last week: Herman Cain and Bob McCurdy. Lapa says he knew both men and learned a lot about leadership, sales, and radio from them. Read it here.

Convention Coverage Unlike Any in History. News and management pro Tom Tradup (pictured below at the 2016 RNC) writes in an exclusive opinion piece for TALKERS magazine about the challenges facing radio news and radio talk show hosts covering the 2020 national political conventions. The Salem Radio Network V.P. of News/Talk Programming says, “Pity the responsibility of my network as well as our colleagues at ABC Audio, CBS Radio, and the soon-to-be-defunct Westwood One radio news as we have dodged and weaved as COVID-19 impacted the venerable institutions known as National Conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties. (Full disclosure: most of us have long understood that the actual ‘news value’ of political conventions was zero, but we nevertheless turned out every four years to provide coverage of delegates from Wisconsin wearing dopey yellow foam triangles shaped like cheese on their heads as we dodged screams and urine from various protest groups.)” Read his entire piece here.

WXYT-FM, Detroit Personality Jamie Samuelsen Dies at 48. It was just last week that WXYT-FM, Detroit sports talk host Jamie Samuelsen announced to listeners that he’s been battling colon cancer since January of 2019 – something he kept to himself until the very end. On Saturday (8/1) Samuelsen passed away at age 48. The Detroit Free Press shares comments from Samuelsen’s friends and co-workers – a number of whom got the chance to visit with him last week after he made his diagnosis public. The Free PressAnthony Fenech writes that Samuelsen – who had been working from home since the COVID-19 outbreak – was not in pain toward the end but his energy was very low. He leaves behind his wife Christy and three children: Caroline, 16, Josh, 14, and Catherine, 11. Samuelsen had been co-hosting the morning drive show with Mike Stone on the Entercom sports talk station since August of 2016.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Adds Jesse Kelly Show. The nationally syndicated “Jesse Kelly Show” is now airing on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte on Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Key Networks-syndicated show debuted in April and airs live weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. WBT-AM/FM brand manager Mike Schaefer says, “Jesse Kelly represents the evolving sonic landscape of news/talk. Jesse’s informed, funny, and brings unique experience and wisdom to the listeners that has been earned as both a Marine Corps combat veteran and a congressional candidate. We’re excited to bring Jesse’s show to the listeners of WBT!”

Jim Bryant Leaving Hubbard Radio’s 2060 Digital. After heading up Hubbard Radio’s digital marketing agency 2060 Digital for the past eight years, Jim Bryant announces he leaving the company and his role as president of the division. He says, “I’m an entrepreneur at heart and feel like we’ve now built the business to a day-to-day operating level. My goal was to build the business, and I think we did that…and, quite honestly, 44 years in this business is about as much fun as one guy can handle. I appreciate the huge vote of confidence Ginny Morris and Hubbard Radio afforded me, allowing me to stretch out, take smart chances, and surround myself with the terrific talent required to keep moving this business forward.” Hubbard EVP and CFO Dave Bestler says, “There is no way our digital platform would be where it is today without Jim. His vision and leadership have made 2060 Digital one of the leading digital agencies in each of our radio markets. During the past two years, Jim has focused on expanding 2060 Digital services beyond our radio footprint to new markets, including Indianapolis, Nashville, Detroit and Columbus. His vision has come to life and we look forward to continuing to grow the 2060 business on top of the strong foundation that Jim built.” 2060 Digital general manager and Hubbard SVP of digital strategies Steve Goldstein is assuming Bryant’s duties.

Air Talent Shuffle at Entercom’s WFNZ-AM, Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that Entercom’s Charlotte sports talk station WFNZ-AM is swapping midday and afternoon drive shows. Effective today, “The Clubhouse with Kyle Bailey” moves to the midday daypart (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and Nick Wilson and Josh Parcell move to the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot. According to the piece, Bailey is pleased with the move to middays saying it “aligns with a lot of things in my life right now.” Bailey also hosts the Charlotte Hornets pre-game show on the station.

Farkas Exits ‘101.3 The Game’ in Burlington. At VOX AM/FM’s Burlington, Vermont sports talk outlet WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game,” program director and air personality Brady Farkas exits after four years. Station GM Ken Barlow tells the Burlington Free Press, “These things are never easy. (Farkas) is a very good guy, a very knowledgeable sports guy, and in many aspects of the job he did just fine. But we felt the station was mired in the position it’s in and we need revenue to be able to have it grow an audience and the program director is one of the primary people responsible for that.” Farkas tells the paper he’s proud of his time at the station, “We went through an affiliation switch from ESPN to FOX Sports Radio in fall of 2018 and delivered a number-one-rated station in fall of 2019. I am proud of the work our staff accomplished in order to achieve that.”

TALKERS News Notes. Los Angeles sports talker KSPN “ESPN 710” unveils its new programming lineup that takes effect on August 17. The changes were necessitated in part by owner ESPN’s decision to promote Keyshawn Johnson to host of the network’s national morning show called “Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin” and co-starring Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti. KSPN will air that program via delay (it’s to air live in morning drive Eastern Time) and Travis Rodgers – formerly part of the KSPN “Keyshawm, LZ and Travis” show – will serve as the local host. “Greeny” with Mike Greenberg airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Max Kellerman from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Steve Mason and John Ireland move from afternoons to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daypart and the new afternoon drive show is LZ Granderson and Jorge Sedano. San Diego-based Scott Kaplan hosts evenings when there is no play-by-play…..From August 10-14, legendary Chicago disc jockey John Records Landecker will fill in for Bob Sirott hosting the morning drive show on Nexstar’s WGN-AM, Chicago. Sirott says, “Listeners are going to discover that John’s middle name truly is ‘talk!’”…..Roanoke.com reports that the “Big Dawg Sports Talk” show with Rick Watson returns to the New River Valley for morning drive on Monticello Media’s WRAD-AM/FM. The program aired in the market from 2001 to 2010 when the previous station owner canceled the show. Watson serves as director of broadcasting for Radford University and that includes his work as the voice of RU athletics…..iHeartMedia Orlando announces the launch of “Financial Fix” – an online financial resource hub where financial advisors, realtors, tax professionals, bankruptcy lawyers, and more can be featured for the local community to connect with. iHeartMedia Orlando’s Chianna Ray says, “‘Financial Fix’ will be an important resource for our community. Many people do not know where to start when it comes to unexpected financial situations such as refinancing, retirement funds withdrawal, grants qualifications, and more. This hub will be a great place for the community to find solutions in one centralized place.” iHeartMedia Orlando is promoting “Financial Fix” on-air on all of its stations, as well as on social media and the stations’ websites.

iHeartRadio Announces ‘The Next Great Podcast’ Search. In conjunction with the content creation platform Tongal, iHeartRadio unveils its search for “The Next Great Podcast.” Now through August 27, creators around the world can pitch for the chance to produce a new podcast series of any genre and to work with The iHeartPodcast Network to launch the new series. Creators will be asked to submit a short synopsis and treatment that describes their podcast idea, along with links to past work and an optional audio trailer and pitch video. Pitches will be narrowed down by a panel of podcasters, led by head judge and broadcaster Dan Patrick, and 10 semifinalists will be awarded $1,000 to further develop their idea into a 10-minute pilot. These pilots will be shared on “The Next Great Podcast” feed in the fall for fans everywhere to listen and vote. One winner will be crowned “The Next Great Podcast,” featured on iHeartRadio stations across the country and work closely with Patrick and iHeartRadio’s team of expert podcast producers to develop their podcast into an original series for distribution by The iHeartPodcast Network. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Audio is thriving and is the breeding ground for some of the best IP out there right now. Podcasting has always been an ideal place for cultivating new talent and we are excited to join forces with Tongal to reach their impressive community of creatives as we search for the next great podcast.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Milwaukee, the iHeartMedia cluster that includes urban contemporary WKKV “V100.7,” country WMIL, classic hits WRIT “95.7 BIG FM,” sports talker WRNW “97.3 The Game,” and WOKY-AM “The BIG 920” are launching “Brilliantly Black” – a community resource initiative to support local Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and non-profits. iHeartMedia Milwaukee president Colleen Valkoun says, “I want to congratulate our team on this grassroots opportunity to support Black-owned businesses. Please join us in supporting the Black business community. I am thrilled we can use our stations to impact and inform the public about this much-needed community resource.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WHKF, Harrisburg “ALT Rock 99.3” adds Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” to the morning drive daypart…..Condolences to the family and friends of Riverbend Communications CHR KFTZ, Idaho Falls morning drive personality Tara Longmore Moss, who died over the weekend after a brief, unexpected illness. Moss’ co-host Brad Barlow tells KPVI-TV, Pocatello, “Tara is that host that I never heard anyone say anything bad about. All I ever heard was how much people loved her and how much people thought of her as a friend.”