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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

| August 31, 2022

Audacy CEO David Field Responds to Industry Piece Predicting Company’s Bankruptcy. After a number of tweets on Tuesday (8/30) from various media people called attention to InsideMusicRadio.com publisher Jerry Del Colliano’s opinion piece about the state of Audacy’s business, Audacy CEO David Field responded with a companywide memo and a public response on Twitter. Taken out of context, the headline was subject to misinterpretation unless one read the entire piece. The story goes on to reference a memo Field wrote four years ago in which he gave his observations about the reasons for iHeartMedia’s and Cumulus’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations. Del Colliano’s column suggests Audacy is now facing the same issues iHeartMedia and Cumulus did and Del Colliano predicts that Audacy is headed down the same path as he terms Field’s 2018 memo “a premonition of things to come as Audacy heads into bankruptcy next year.” Field’s response states, “An industry blog post published today falsely claimed that ‘David Field confirms Audacy’s bankruptcy.’ That statement is categorically and unequivocally untrue. Audacy intends to pursue all applicable remedies for false and defamatory statements meant to cause damage to Audacy, its employees and its stakeholders to the fullest extent of the law. As you have heard from me and others on our leadership team, we are excited and confident in our future and focused on capitalizing effectively on the acquisitions, investments and enhancements we have made to position the company for a bright future in the dynamic, growing world of audio. With the additions of a strong leadership position in podcasting, a meaningfully enhanced national sales organization, the rollout of a new, reimagined digital platform, emerging ad tech and data capabilities, plus the industry’s best local radio group with an unrivaled #1 position in news and sports, Audacy is better positioned than ever to serve customers and audiences with greater revenue and earnings potential under normalized market conditions.”

Deborah Flora to Host Daily Show on KUNS-AM, Denver. After giving up her weekend talk show on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS-AM, Denver to pursue the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, Deborah Flora returns to the station to host a daily 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm program beginning September 6. Flora is a former Miss Colorado, is president and founder of the non-profit Parents United America. She is also a founding partner of both Lamplight Entertainment and Whetstone Media Group, and produced numerous projects, including the documentary, Whose Children Are They? KNUS operations manager Kelly Michaels says, “We are fortunate to have Deborah back on 710 KNUS and I know she will crush it on her new weekday show. She is a hard-working and caring host who is determined to help make Colorado a better place for families to raise their kids.” Flora comments, “I’m excited to be back on the air and connecting with Coloradans every day. We will talk about common sense solutions to the real issues facing the great people of this state, while inspiring listeners to take a stand for what they care about most.”

FOX News Channel Third Most-Watched Television Network in August. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel finished August 2022 as the third most-watched network in all of television during weekday primetime, outpacing ABC and trailing only CBS and NBC. In a press release citing Nielsen ratings, FOX News Channel says it remained cable’s highest-rated network in total day and primetime with total viewers and the top rated in total day with the 25-54 demo. FNC surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined with total day and primetime viewers and was number one in all of cable with total day and primetime viewers. FNC also ranked number one in cable news in primetime viewers for the 19th month in a row and notched 96 of the top 100 cable news telecasts for the month. In total day, FNC delivered 1.5 million viewers, 211,000 with the 25-54 demo and 128,000 with the 18-49 demo. In primetime, FNC netted 2.3 million viewers, 311,000 in the 25-54 demo, and 189,000 with the 18-49 demo. The network also delivered the top four programs in cable news with viewers and the top 15 of the top 16 cable news programs in the 25-54 demo. FNC’s late afternoon offering “The Five” continued as the top-rated show in viewers for the fifth consecutive month and finishing first in cable news for the last eight out of nine months. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” continued as the highest-rated program in cable news in the younger 25-54 demo, averaging 3.3 million viewers and 486,000 in the demo, as well as 301,000 in the 18-49 category throughout July. “Hannity” scored 2.9 million viewers, 397,000 in the 25-54 demo and 235,000 among adults 18-49, achieving the third most-watched program in all categories and outpacing the competition on MSNBC and CNN combined.

John Mullen Named General Manager for Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM. Broadcasting professional and educator John T. Mullen is named general manager for Hofstra University’s student run radio station WRHU-FM 88.7 Radio Hofstra University, effective September 1. Mullen has been serving as the station’s operations manager. Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean Mark Lukasiewicz says, “John has been an important part of the growth and success of WRHU since he joined the station in 2005, spearheading the station’s longstanding relationship with the New York Islanders and other professional sports franchises, and steering the application process for the station’s many industry awards – most notably, three NAB Marconi Awards over the past several years. As a mentor and advisor, he has helped hundreds of students develop skills, build confidence and prepare for careers in broadcasting and other industries, accomplishments that are at the core of WRHU’s mission at Hofstra. John is stepping into a role largely created and defined by outgoing general manager Bruce Avery, who departs with our profound thanks for leading WRHU and its students to such great accomplishments over his more than three decades at Hofstra. I could not imagine a better candidate than John to take the reins from Bruce, and to launch a great new chapter in the storied history of WRHU Radio Hofstra University.”

TALKERS News Notes. WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is sitting in for Sean Hannity on Premiere Networks’ “Sean Hannity Show” today (8/31)…..iHeartMedia announces that the podcast “StraightioLab” – hosted by comedians George Civeris and Sam Taggart – joins the iHeartPodcast Network as part of iHeartMedia and Will Ferrell’s Big Money Player’s Network. “StraightioLab” is described as an intellectual podcast where the two “unpack the rich, multi-colored tapestry of straight culture. In each episode, George and Sam are joined by a guest to hold a mirror to society and finally get to the bottom of mysterious and perverse topics such as college fraternities, gender reveal parties, the military, themed restaurants, and the concept of ‘the holidays.’”…..Audacy’s Cadence13 names longtime Hollywood executive Patton Valentine to oversee intellectual property adaptation strategy across its original content divisions. The company says it has ambitious plans for adapting its hit audio documentary and scripted storytelling IP into the world of film and television, with many projects already in the works. Valentine joins Cadence13 from Ley Line Entertainment, where he served as head of television…..iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the BofA Securities 2022 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference on Thursday September 8 at 4:10 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.

Trump Documents Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, Biden’s Student Loan Plan, Jackson Water Woes/Western Heatwave, and Mikhail Gorbachev Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30). The U.S. Justice Department’s battle with former President Donald Trump over the document search of Mar-a-Lago; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effect on Europe’s natural gas supply; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program; the potable water supply problems in Jackson, Mississippi and the heatwave forecast for the U.S. West; and former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.