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NAB2022: Don’t Blink

| April 26, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — If you’re here this week, bear with me. I’m that guy in the row behind you, typing feverishly-enough to resemble the movie character racing the countdown readout to disarm a nuclear warhead about to detonate. If you’re not here, here’s why I am:

Megatrends in the U.S. Audio Listening Landscape

From Laura Ivey, Edison Research, with bullet points from the “Share of Ear” data her firm has been tracking since 2014:

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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

| April 13, 2022

Cindy Rollison to Lead Cumulus Tri-Cities, Tennessee. Sales and management pro Cindy Rollison returns to Cumulus Media to serve as vice president and market manager for the Tri-Cities, Tennessee station group that includes news/talk WJCW-AM and sports talk WXSM-AM plus two music brands. Rollison takes over for Debbie Caso, who is retiring after 43 years in the market. Rollison served as VP and market manager for Cumulus’ former station group in Blacksburg, Virginia from 2007-2018. She’s been serving as regional marketing consultant for Mel Wheeler, Inc. Radio and Digital Advertising since 2019. Cumulus regional VP Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thankful to Debbie Caso for making such a valuable contribution to the community and company for so many years and wish her much happiness in her retirement. At the same time, I’m very pleased that we have someone of Cindy Rollison’s caliber and experience joining our team. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work alongside Cindy again, after many successful years working together with our cluster in Blacksburg. I’m looking forward to many successes together.”

 

Justin Schaflander Named Director of Sales for ‘ESPN LA.’ Radio sales pro Justin Schaflander is named director of sales for Good Karma Brands’ sports talk KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN LA 710 AM.”  He was most recently a region president with iHeartMedia. In the early 2000s, Schaflander was a director of sports for CBS, running the Dodgers Radio Network. He says, “I’m thrilled to join ESPN LA and Good Karma Brands. To return to LA, work with some of the most iconic brands in sports and have it wrapped up in Good Karma Brands’ culture makes this a bucket list experience! I would like to thank the team for making this process and transition seamless and fun, and I can’t wait to start learning and working with this special group of teammates.” Good Karma Brands acquired “ESPN LA 710 AM” and “ESPN 1050 AM in New York” earlier this year. The company also took over the agreement to perform ESPN’s obligations under the Local Marketing Agreement for WEPN-FM “98.7 ESPN” in New York.

 

Kidney Transplant a Life-Changing Event for WHUB, Cookeville’s Brent Carl Fleshman. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes today about Cookeville, Tennessee talk radio host Brent Carl Fleshman who recently underwent a lifesaving – and life-changing – kidney transplant. Fleshman serves with Zimmer Broadcasting’s Cookeville station group where he hosts the morning drive show on news/talk WHUB “News Talk 107.7 and 1400 The Hub” and serves as program director, among other duties. In May of 2014, Dr. Barbara Fleming was doing a segment on Fleshman’s program when she noticed something about Fleshman that concerned her. She prompted him to seek treatment at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University and he got into the hospital’s kidney transplant program. Fleshman says, “I’ve been given a second chance with this kidney and am grateful to the man who signed that donor card [making it possible for me to] continue doing what I love every day. I intend to make the most of it. I look forward to getting back on the air soon and have asked Dr. Fleming to be on my first show. If [the host of WHUB’s 30-minute Saturday health program, ‘Your Best Health Connection’] hadn’t noticed my symptoms eight years ago and gone to Vanderbilt with me, I would never have seen this day. Radio saved my life.” Read his story here.

 

Gordon Smith Joins Beasley Board of Directors. Former NAB president and CEO Gordon H. Smith is nominated by the Beasley Media Group board of directors to be added to the slate of directors to be presented at the annual shareholders meeting on May 25. The official unanimous vote took place during the company’s board of director’s meeting on March 31, 2022. Smith, who served two terms as a Republican U.S. Senator representing Oregon, led the NAB from 2009 through 2021. Beasley board chair and CEO Caroline Beasley says, “It is such an honor and a privilege to welcome Gordon to the Beasley Media Group board of directors. His outstanding leadership, dedication and service to broadcasters and our nation is unparalleled. His understanding of Washington and how to navigate the halls of power will serve our board well for years to come. I look forward to working closely with Gordon and our board as we continue to evolve our company forward.”

 

47th Annual Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 47th Annual Gracie Awards which will return in-person on May 24 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles with local and student awards given on June 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. AWMF says the event will honor some of the most talented women in television, radio and digital media. AWMF chair Heather Cohen says, “Throughout this past year we have seen a number of remarkable projects by and about inspirational women.” AWMF president Becky Brooks adds, “We are honored to shine a spotlight on these women, whose stories have driven cultural awareness, offered entertainment that has made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. This year, we will be returning to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and are delighted to return to an in-person format so that we can properly celebrate together.” Some of the national radio honorees include Allison Keyes, CBS News Weekend Roundup; Cheri Preston, ABC News Radio; Jen Horn, Victoria Keelan, and Jai Kershner, “The DJV Show”; Heather Hunter, WMAL-FM, Washington’s “O’Connor and Company”; Jeana Gondek, WOKV-FM, Jacksonville, “Jacksonville’s Morning News”; Judi Franco, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; Lori Barghini and Julia Cobbs, KTMY-FM, Minneapolis “The Lori & Julia Show”; MalaniKai WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, “Word on the Street”; and Rita Cosby, WABC, New York. See the complete list of honorees here. Pictured above at the most recent in-person ceremony (2019) are (from l-r): country artist Kelsey Ballerini, Heather Cohen, and Becky Brooks.

 

Comrex to Unveil Gagl Remote Contribution Solution at NAB Show. The newest remote contribution solution from Comrex will be showcased at the NAB Show in Las Vegas April 23-27.  Dubbed Gagl, this new cloud service delivers conferenced audio from multiple contributors in high-quality. Gagl allows between one and five users to send and receive audio from computers and smartphones. Participants can connect and send audio by simply clicking a link using any common web browser. Their audio is conferenced (if there’s more than one user) and delivered to a Comrex hardware codec such as an ACCESS or BRIC-Link. All participants can hear other participants, and the codec can send audio back to them. Comrex says Gagl could be used as the hub for a round-robin reporting program or for a large-cast radio show to support multiple simultaneous connections at once. Because it offers low latency, it’s appropriate for call-in talk radio. Gagl could also be used to allow a single contributor to connect back to the studio from a computer or smartphone. Designed with audio quality in mind, Gagl provides stable connections with limited bandwidth. Gagl uses the Opus audio encoder, with a bit rate that delivers both voice and music in excellent quality. Gagl also delivers audio directly to a Comrex codec with all the stability enhancements, pro-grade audio connections, and features that hardware codecs provide. With a simple user interface, Gagl is easy for users with any level of technical expertise to use. Gagl works with Comrex hardware IP audio codecs including the AES67-compatible ACCESS NX Rack IP audio codec and ACCESS MultiRack multi-channel IP audio codec as well as the BRIC-Link series – a sneak peak of the next addition to the BRIC-Link codec line will also be featured at the 2022 NAB Show. LiveShot (a bonded IP solution for live video) and other IP audio solutions for IFB and POTS and /ISDN replacement can be found at the Comrex booth C3024 in Central Hall along with a “behind the curtain” look at some new concept products.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Hunter Biden/Rudy Giuliani Investigations, Inflation/Recession Fears, Brooklyn Shooter Search, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Severe Southern Weather, and Gilbert Gottfried Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and President Joe Biden’s use of the term “genocide”; the investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business ventures and the investigation into Rudy Giuliani’s potential violation of foreign lobbying laws; high gas and consumer goods prices in the U.S. and fears the inflation will cause a recession; the search for the man who opened fire in a Brooklyn subway injuring 26 people; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the reinstating of mask requirements in some places in the U.S. as the BA.2 variant dominates and the brutal lockdowns taking place in China; the severe weather affecting the Southern U.S.; and the death of comic Gilbert Gottfried were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

| April 12, 2022

iHeartMedia Adds New Talk Radio Outlet to the Seattle Market. Seattle market AM KPTR is now news/talk as “1090 The Patriot, Seattle’s Conservative News Talk.” iHeartMedia announces the new station and reveals it is airing Premiere Networks syndicated programming including: “Glenn Beck,” “Clay Travis & Buck Sexton,” “Sean Hannity,” and “Jesse Kelly” from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore comments, “We are proud to be launching a new station in Seattle, seeing an opportunity to bring a powerful conservative talk lineup to the airwaves. This station brings highly engaging content and information with leading talent in the conservative talk space that our listeners will gravitate towards.”

 

Joe Pags Show Gets into Seattle Market on KPTR-AM. WOAI-AM, San Antonio-based talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is part of the new Seattle news/talker KPTR-AM “1090 The Patriot.” Pags’ Compass Media Networks-syndicated “The Joe Pags Show” is airing on the new station from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Joe Pags says, “I am thrilled to bring my show to the great city of Seattle. Being part of this lineup of talk stars is a true privilege. I can’t wait to give the people of the Emerald City a place to come to voice their concerns, have some fun, and take part in important dialogue.” “The Joe Pags Show” is heard in more than 160 markets including Houston, Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.

 

iHeartMedia and the NFL’s Washington Commanders Ink Audio Partnership. The NFL’s Washington Commanders and iHeartMedia Washington DC announce a new, three-year partnership deal to be the team’s exclusive radio broadcast partner. Starting this season, the team’s games will air on classic rock WBIG-FM “BIG 100.3 FM” and be featured on the station’s website and on the iHeartRadio app. In addition to the team’s radio gameday broadcast, iHeartMedia says this partnership will offer a “robust lineup of exclusive programming across iHeartMedia D.C.’s radio stations and on the iHeartRadio App. New this season, fans will also be able to access archived radio broadcasts of the team’s games anytime via the Commanders channel on the iHeartRadio App.” iHeartMedia has no broadcast sports talk station in the market, but has four other music brands plus news/talk WWDC-HD2/W284CQ “104.7 WONK-FM” and news WUST-AM “DMV’s Black Information Network.”

 

NAB’s Michelle Duke Honored with MIW’s Trailblazer Award. The recipient of this year’s MIW Frances Preston Trailblazer Award from Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. is Michelle Duke, president, NAB Leadership Foundation and chief diversity officer. The MIW Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, champions and creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers. In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of BMI. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “What a joy to recognize and celebrate Michelle’s many accomplishments with this Trailblazer Award. I’ve worked with Michelle via Broadcast Leadership Training and know firsthand that her efforts are tireless and her work throughout our industry is meaningful. This award was a long time coming.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. A new study titled, “Exploring The Brand Benefits of Trust and Companionship in Audio,” commissioned by iHeartMedia and PMX (the investment arm of Publicis Media), finds that “consumers perceive radio and podcast personalities as highly relatable, trustworthy and authentic. These findings present rich opportunity for advertisers to build brand affinity and favorability, and drive purchase in audio environments.” The study was conducted by Magid and reveals that “55% of participants said they listen to commercials more often on radio and in podcasts than through any other medium. In addition, 53% found radio and podcast advertisements to be more relevant than on any other medium and 51% said they are more trusting of radio and podcast advertisers than on any other medium. When comparing radio versus streaming music services in nine consumer categories including restaurants, retail, automobiles and more, consumers who purchased a product were more likely to buy from an audio advertisement in every single category.”…..The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Ted Davis, former voice of the Milwaukee Bucks who retired after the 2021-22 season, posted to Facebook that he’s leaving his current gig at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WRNW-FM, Milwaukee “97.3 The Game.” He’ll continue to work with the station in a fill-in capacity. He co-hosted the “Heller & Davis” show with Mike Heller, who will continue to host the program solo…..iHeartMedia Denver announces that veteran sports broadcaster Jerry Schemmel returns to the KOA Colorado Rockies Radio Network, effective immediately. Schemmel shares play-by-play and color analyst duties with Jack Corrigan for all 162 Colorado Rockies games and returns to KOA for his 11th season following a two-year hiatus. He says, “I am elated to be coming back to the KOA Colorado Rockies Radio Network booth. I couldn’t be happier to be working with Jack Corrigan and producer Jesse Thomas. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get back at it.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, January 6 Committee/Prosecutions, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Macron-Le Pen Race, and Severe Southern U.S. Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the allegations of war crimes, and the implications for U.S. relations abroad; the state of the U.S. economy, soaring inflation, and President Joe Biden’s ethanol authorization; the January 6 committee’s ongoing investigation and the prosecution of those who entered the Capitol; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; America’s retreating from COVID-19 protocols, concerns about the BA.2 variant’s spread, and China’s zero-covid lockdown policy; the race for president of France between liberal Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen; and the severe spring weather hitting the U.S. South were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, March 11, 2022

| March 11, 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, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Dumb Russian,” looks back at this past week of 3/7 to 3/11. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSGraham MackPodcast Radio UK, London; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyMichael Olson, talk show host, “China Watch Radio,” KSCO, Santa Cruz; John DePetro, talk show host, WNRI, Woonsocket, RI; and Ronn Owens, talk show host (retired), KGO, San Francisco.  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; 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; theVirginia 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.

 

Schartel: NAB’s First Amendment Defense a Farce. The owner of KCXL-AM, Liberty, Kansas says in an opinion piece published in TALKERS today (3/11) that the National Association of Broadcasters‘ claim of being a “fierce defender” of the First Amendment, is a “farce.” Pete Schartel’s station carries three hours of the brokered “Radio Sputnik” programming and after the NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt issued a press statement calling on “broadcasters to cease carrying any state-sponsored programming with ties to the Russian government or its agents,” Schartel and his wife began receiving harassing threats. Read his piece here.

 

WWO Audio Active Group Blog: Advertisers Speak Out at ANA Conference. At the annual Association of National Advertisers Media Conference held last week, some 300 media executives from America’s largest and most respected advertisers talked about what their research shows makes for effective marketing. Some of the noteworthy points include the following statement from Association of National Advertisers CEO Bob Liodice, who said, “Humanity needs to be at the center of everything we do [in media and marketing].” WWO adds, “Studies show ads that make you feel something generate stronger sales and profit than rational ads. People-centered media such as AM/FM radio generate double the attentiveness of music platforms without humans (Pandora/Spotify).” Also, Lou Paskalis, longtime client-side marketer and former SVP of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, explains that the news audience is exceptionally valuable, attentive, and deserving of greater investments from brands. Read more here.

 

A Rich Man’s True Jewels: Profile of WRVA, Richmond Talk Host Jeff Katz. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents today’s feature profile of WRVA, Richmond talk radio personality Jeff Katz. A former police officer who grew up in Philadelphia, Katz’s first break in radio was on the sales side and about that Katz says, “I’m pretty sure I was the worst radio salesperson in history. I had absolutely no idea what I was selling, or why I was selling it.” But Katz eventually got a weekend talk show on WFPG-AM, Atlantic City before moving on to such signals as WPOP, Hartford; KPIX-FM and KSFO in San Francisco; and WRKO, Boston. Read the whole story here.

 

TALKERS News Notes. The National Association of Broadcasters announces that the presentation of the 2022 NAB Marconi Radio Awards will take place during a special dinner program at NAB Show New York on October 19, 2022 at the Javits Center. NAB EVP of industry affairs April Carty-Sipp says, “NAB Show New York is the perfect venue for the Marconi Radio Awards with its prime location and ideal timing in the fall when the Marconis have traditionally been presented. We look forward to celebrating the best in radio in October.”…..FOX Sports Radio’s LaVar Arrington – co-host of the network’s weekday morning program “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 the addition of life coach, chef, NFL wife and entrepreneur Tommi Vincent to the Up On Game Presents podcast lineup. Arrington says, “I’m excited to welcome a dynamic personality like Tommi Vincent to Up on Game Presents. She has been a tremendous contributor to not only the sports community, but also the women’s community. I’m truly looking forward to hearing her show on our feed. Powerful, impactful, female voices are needed and essential to our industry, and I’m proud and honored to welcome Tommi Vincent to the Up On Game Presents family.”…..AdLarge announces today the addition of the “Collapse: Disaster in Surfside” podcast to the company’s ad sales network portfolio. Co-produced by Treefort Media and the Miami Herald, the 12-part investigative and narrative reporting series podcast delves into the devastating nightmare that took place just outside of Surfside, Florida a little after midnight on June 24, 2021, where a condominium complex suddenly collapsed to the ground killing 98 people in a matter of minutes.

 

Russia-Ukraine War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 7-11. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the rest of the world’s reactions was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the diplomatic relations between the U.S., Russia, and China, followed by the state of the U.S. economy and the soaring price of gasoline at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during 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.

NAB’s First Amendment Defense a Farce

| March 11, 2022

By Pete Schartel
KCXL-AM
Owner

 

LIBERTY, Kan. — It is my patriotic duty alert fellow broadcasters that last week the new driver of the National Association of Broadcasters threw both our cherished First Amendment right of free speech and the preservation of independent broadcast voices under the bus by calling for the silencing of broadcasters that carry Russian-sponsored programming.

New NAB CEO Curtis LeGeyt states that “the NAB is a fierce defender of the First Amendment.” Perhaps he should have used the word “farce” instead. Advocating to shut down independent radio stations, such as my own which has zealously practiced the American ideal of creating a fully informed electorate, doesn’t strike me as being a “fierce defender.” Since his statement came out during meetings with 300 lawmakers it seems more plausible that this was a knee-jerk attempt to make them like him by playing on public sympathy and emotion.

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