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Thursday, April 28, 2022

| April 28, 2022

SiriusXM Host Joe Madison is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Civil rights activist, author, speaker and radio talk show host Joe Madison is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Since 1980, “The Black Eagle” has hosted shows at such outstanding outlets as WXYZ, Detroit; WWDB-FM, Philadelphia; WWRC, Washington, DC; and WOL – also in the nation’s capital. He’s been nationally syndicated by Radio One and is now well into his second decade hosting the morning show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Urban View channel. Madison was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2019. He is the leading civil rights activist broadcaster in America whose main platform is talk radio. He’s conducted high-profile hunger strikes to bring attention to causes he supports and has been arrested at demonstrations. He is a prolific public speaker and inspiration to people seeking racial equality and justice in America. The 72-year-old thought leader has received numerous honors over the years including the prestigious TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award in 2008. Joe Madison is currently the highest-ranked African American personality on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America (#5). Now, with David Canton, he has written a long-awaited book about his life and career titled, Radio Active: A Memoir of Advocacy in Action, on the Air and in the Streets. Harrison and Madison take a deep dive into the ongoing turbulence of race relations in America. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, click here.

 

FCC’s Carr Says Agency Has No Authority in Twitter Acquisition. Responding to the Open Markets Institute’s appeal to the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission to block the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr issued a terse statement: “The FCC has no authority to block Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and to suggest otherwise is absurd. I would welcome the full FCC making it clear that we will not entertain these types of frivolous arguments.” The Open Markets Institute says in its statement, “The most obvious problem is that the deal would give to a single man – one who already wields immense political and economic power – direct control over one of world’s most important platforms for public communications and debate. As has been true from the Founding, the American people have an absolute right to ensure the full openness and neutrality of all essential public infrastructure. Specific to communications, we see this in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, in the Telegraph acts of 1860 and 1866, the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910, the Communications Act of 1934, and many other federal and state laws. Americans have also repeatedly used our antitrust laws to prevent concentrations of power over communications, speech, debate, and news.” Read the organization’s release here.

 

Hall of Famer Brett Favre to Join ESPN Milwaukee for Weekly Segment. Green Bay Packers great and NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre is joining Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee stations for a weekly segment during this fall’s 2022 NFL season. Beginning August 29, the 30-minute interview will air every Monday morning at 7:30 am on WKTI-FM “94.5 ESPN” Milwaukee’s “Jen, Gabe & Chewy” program featuring Packers Hall of Fame inductee Mark Chmura. The interview will be replayed on other ESPN Wisconsin shows, “Newsradio 620” WTMJ, WGKB-AM/W269DL “101.7 The Truth” and Good Karma Brands’ digital platforms. Good Karma VP and market manager Steve Wexler says, “We are excited about our coverage of the team this season, which will include pre-game and post-game shows, expanded hospitality at our Tundra Trio hospitality homes in Green Bay, and the exclusive appearance of Brett Favre on our stations. Brett will bring his unique perspective and experience to our programming and we can’t to hear his takes.”

 

WMVP-AM, Chicago Adds Courtney Cronin as Bears Reporter and Fill-In Host. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Good Karma Brands’ sports talk WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” adds Courtney Cronin to the staff to serve as a Chicago Bears reporter and on-air fill-in host during the football season. Feder notes that she had been serving with ESPN covering the Minnesota Vikings prior to returning to her native Chicago to cover the Bears. WMVP director of content Danny Zederman is quoted saying, “We are thrilled to welcome Courtney to our ESPN Chicago family. She is well connected in NFL circles and will bring our fans the Bears information they desire. In addition to her reporting, our fans are going to enjoy what Courtney has to offer as a radio host, where she’ll talk all things Chicago sports.”

 

NAB2022: Employee Wellness and Mental Health. “Because COVID-19 was unlike anything we’ve experienced, they called it ‘a novel coronavirus.’” So, consultant Holland Cooke, recalls “we went into a better-safe-than-sorry mode with lasting consequences,” including in the radio workplace. One NAB Show panelist offers advice. Read it here.

 

Retired AURN Executive Jerry Lopes Dies. Former American Urban Radio Networks executive Gerald A. “Jerry” Lopes died on April 23. Lopes served with AURN for almost four decades, retiring in 2018 as president of programming and affiliations. AURN issued a statement saying, “We cherished his dedication to news, entertainment, and sports. As a valued member of the AURN team and a strong advocate for Black radio in general, Jerry Lopes served on the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters board for over 10 years. A few of his most notable accomplishments were securing and broadcasting an interview between then presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela in 1994, live on-site accounts of the Challenger explosion, and a live broadcast of the ‘Million Man March.’ In addition, Jerry shepherded the production of the radio versions of ‘Lou Rawls Parade of Stars’ for the United Negro College Fund and writing and producing various health and voting rights information pieces in conjunction with NABOB. Jerry’s passion for Historically Black Colleges and Black College Football led him to spearhead a 40-plus-year program of scholarships for student-athletes, The Black College All American, which celebrated students’ contributions on and off the field.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. “FOX Weather,” FOX News Media’s free ad-supported streaming television weather service is expanding its reach to FOX News Audio, launching a new daily podcast as well as offering hourly weather updates on FOX News Headlines 24/7 starting at 6:00 am ET on Monday, May 2. Featuring a rotation of FOX Weather meteorologists, the “FOX Weather Update Podcast” will provide multiple weather updates throughout the day. As the first podcast from the weather service which launched last October, the program will also include breaking news coverage on major systems impacting the country…..Telecommunications law professional Gregg Skall is moderating a live webinar for Independent Broadcasters Association members on Thursday, May 5 at 4:00 pm ET. The webinar, “Best Practices for Political Broadcast Advertising” will “identify and clarify the FCC rules and regulations that will keep your stations compliant, while generating revenue from political.” Skall says, “I’m excited to speak to the members of the IBA and detail the critical FCC rules and regulations for political broadcast advertising. We’re heading into an active political season and knowledge of the rules and regulations will help keep IBA-member stations out of trouble.” Learn more about IBA here…..Glass Podcasts and iHeartMedia announce the launch of the eight-part, true-crime podcast series, “Betrayal.” The series is “the story of TV producer Jenifer Faison whose picture-perfect marriage completely shatters in the blink of an eye when she suddenly discovers that her college sweetheart-turned-doting husband is not the person she thought he was. After seven years of marriage, Faison came home from work one afternoon to find her house searched and her husband arrested for the continued sexual assault of a student. In ‘Betrayal,’ Faison investigates the hidden story behind the story, revealing a dark, double-life fueled by dozens often sordid and simultaneous affairs with friends, neighbors and strangers, dating back to the week they were married.”.….ABC Audio announces its new literary podcast, “The Book Case,” hosted by longtime ABC News journalist Charlie Gibson and his daughter Kate Gibson. The first episode, posting on 5/2, features a conversation with television icon Oprah Winfrey, who discusses the impact of her book club on American readership, her own reading habits, and how she makes her picks. Each week, the father-daughter duo will provide hand-selected recommendations and sit down with a prominent or up-and-coming author, book industry insider or literary influencer.

 

Russia-Ukraine War/Trevor Reed Released, the Economy/Recession Fears, Musk & Twitter, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Urban Crime, Western Drought-Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/27). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the global repercussions, and the prisoner swap that brought U.S. Marine Trevor Reed home from Russia; the financial markets activity, the high price of food and gas, and predictions of a deep recession; Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the growing rate of urban violent crime; and the drought affecting the U.S. West and the spring wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

| April 27, 2022

JB Wilde Rises to VP of Content & Programming for Townsquare Media. Programming pro JB Wilde is promoted to vice president of content & programming for Townsquare Media. Wilde, who joined the company in 2016 as director of content for the Rochester, Minnesota station group, was most recently regional content director for the company’s New York and New Jersey stations. Townsquare says that in this new role, Wilde will “help drive the company’s live and local strategy and lead a group of regional content directors who work closely with multiple Townsquare clusters of local media brands to entertain, inform, and grow audience across all platforms – broadcast, digital, social and events.” In addition to Wilde’s promotion, Townsquare Media is promoting two local leaders to the corporate Content and Programming Group. Christopher “Sweet Lenny” Barber is elevated to regional content director from the company’s Rockford, Illinois cluster, where he has spent the last six years as director of content. Danielle Kootman also joins as regional content director after spending the last six years in the company’s Cedar Rapids, Iowa cluster as digital managing editor. Townsquare SVP/content and programming Kurt Johnson comments, “Could not be happier to promote JB and add Danielle and Lenny to the Content and Programming team. They’ve succeeded at every job we’ve given them, and their skills will strengthen the team and continue Townsquare’s growth as the leading local media company in our markets.”

 

Sound Bites from NAB2022. “No matter how well-planned the agenda,” consultant Holland Cooke says he’s “always found that the most valuable part of a convention is…convening, catching-up with old friends and making new ones.” And being the first NAB Show in three years, HC gathered some quotable quotes. Read them here.

 

New York Festivals Radio Awards Announces 2022 Winners. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announced the 2022 Storytellers Gala award-winners at the virtual event held yesterday (4/26) in conjunction with the NAB Show. NYFestivals says, “Innovative audio work created by world-class storytellers from 24 countries were celebrated at the April 26 Storytellers Gala virtual event. Creative and compelling audio entries from around the globe were recognized by the 2022 Radio Award Grand Jury including engaging podcasts and audiobooks, masterful dramas, and documentaries, up-to-the-minute news coverage, entertainment and music specials all created by world renowned storytellers.” Some of the American companies that took home Gold first-place trophies include: CBS News Radio, which won “Best Coverage of Breaking News” and “Best Coverage of Ongoing News”; NBC News for “Narrative/Documentary Podcast”; and SiriusXM for “Health Podcast.” You can see all the winners here.

 

NAB Announces Winners of 2022 Crystal Awards. The National Association of Broadcasters announced the 10 winners of the 35th annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards yesterday (4/26) at the NAB Show. The NAB Crystal Radio Awards recognize radio stations for their year-round commitment to community service. The 10 2022 NAB Crystal Radio Award recipients were chosen from 50 previously announced finalists. Spoken-word radio stations that won include: Bonneville International’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix; Hubbard Radio’s talk KTMY-FM, Minneapolis-Saint Paul; and Audacy’s all-news KYW-AM, Philadelphia.The winners were chosen by a panel of judges representing the broadcast industry, community service organizations and public relations firms.

 

The Economy/Recession Fears, Russia-Ukraine War, Twitter, January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Trump Org Investigation, and Harvard Slavery Atonement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26). The sell-off in U.S. financial markets, inflation, and experts’ fears of a recession; Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine, its cutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria, and the threat of nuclear attacks; Elon Musk’s victory in acquiring Twitter; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the low rates of hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. and the ongoing lockdowns in China; the battle for control of congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the New York AG’s investigation into the financial dealings of the Trump Organization; and Harvard University acknowledges past ties to slavery and pledges $100 million to atone for it were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

| April 26, 2022

NAB2022: Don’t Blink. “As if technology hadn’t already disrupted media consumption pre-pandemic,” consultant Holland Cooke finds broadcasters gathering in Las Vegas for the first NAB Show in three years “somewhat future-shocked, yet curious and enthused.” HC’s notes from Monday sessions point to threats and opportunities in the New Normal. Read it here.

 

WWO Blog: Nielsen Data Shows Spoken-Word AM/FM Content Accounts for 36% of American Streaming. The Westwood One Audio Active Group blog post is a “comprehensive analysis of AM/FM radio streaming” based on Q4 2021 data from Edison Research’s quarterly “Share of Ear” study. Among the key conclusions from the study are: 1) The streaming shares of spoken-word AM/FM radio stations are nearly double their over-the-air shares. Spoken-word AM/FM radio station streams (news/talk, sports, talk/personality, Spanish news/talk) represent 36% of all American streaming listening, 89% greater than the over-the-air share (19%) of spoken word stations; 2) 89% of the AM/FM radio streaming audience resides in the DMA market where they stream. Marketers can purchase time on AM/FM radio station streams with the confidence that their ads will reach consumers in that local market; 3) There is wide variation in the amount of AM/FM radio stream listening that occurs in local markets. According to Nielsen’s analysis of the February 2022 Portable People Meter data, 18.4% of all AM/FM radio listening in Philadelphia occurs via the stream compared to only 3.9% of listening in Las Vegas; and 4) AM/FM radio streaming audiences are employed, upscale, and most are 35-64. The streams of AM/FM radio stations are highly desirable to advertisers. Compared to the over-the-air AM/FM radio audience in Nielsen’s 48 Portable Meter Markets, streaming audiences are 14% more likely to be employed full time, 30% more likely to have a $75K+ household income, and 11% more likely to be aged 35-64. See the complete study results here.

 

Audacy and FOX News Audio Expand Partnership. This expansion of the relationship between Audacy and FOX News Audio includes FOX News Audio’s linear talk radio streaming content migrating to AmperWave, Audacy’s cloud-based distribution and monetization platform for live and on-demand audio streams. The expanded agreement will also make Audacy the exclusive third-party ad sales representation of FOX News Audio’s streaming inventory on the audio network’s digital properties. The new agreement gives FOX streaming capabilities, sales representation, and new capabilities for live broadcasts on its streaming services. FOX News Audio will be the first of Audacy’s affiliate partners to enable “Rewind” capabilities. Audacy VP of business development Corey Podolsky says, “Audacy knows that our industry is changing with listeners consuming more audio on streams than ever before. As a strategic partner, we are excited to lean into that industry shift with FOX News Audio to deliver new capabilities via our AmperWave streaming platform. Coupled with our ability to now offer world-class hosting and ad serving capabilities, this will take our relationship to a whole new level.” FOX News audio executive director of business development and digital audio operations William Sanchez adds, “We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Audacy and collaborate on serving the growing needs of our listeners. We look forward to improving our audience’s experience with AmperWave’s hosting technology on our platforms.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. San Antonio news/talk outlet KTSA-AM is celebrating its 100th anniversary on May 9. As part of the celebration, the Alpha Media station has produced a video that encapsulates the 300-year history of the city that you can see here…..Sports talk WBFG-FM, Parker’s Crossroads, Tennessee – in the Jackson, Tennessee market, is now owned and operated by Dan Reaves, who acquired the station from Lexington Broadcasting. The Jackson Sun reports that the change of ownership became official on April 1. Reaves is a well-known radio personality in the region and is hosting the morning drive show. George B. hosts the afternoon drive daypart and ESPN Radio content airs the rest of the day. The station will remain an affiliate for the Tennessee Volunteer Sports Network and the Memphis Grizzlies broadcasts…..SiriusXM and I Am Athlete, the media network founded by former NFL All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall, announce a new, expansive content deal that includes a live nightly radio show and other projects. I Am Athlete and SiriusXM will produce a new show called “I Am Athlete Tonight” that will air live from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET hosted by former NFL defensive end Leger Douzable and include a case of rotating co-hosts including Marshall, former NFL players LeSean McCoy, Brandon Flowers and Adam “Pacman” Jones, former NBA player Antoine Walker, former WNBA player Chantel Tremitiere and journalist Omar Kelly.

 

Musk to Acquire Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Financial Markets/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Immigration Issues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). After more than a week of attempts, Elon Musk’s $54.20 per share acquisition of Twitter has been accepted prompting questions about what the new Twitter will look like; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, its effects on the global economy, and Vladimir Putin’s other European targets; the battle over mask mandates, the dominant BA.2 variant’s spread across the U.S., and the harsh lockdowns in China; the revelations of Republican politicians’ communications before and during the January 6 Capitol attack; concerns about bearish activity on the world’s financial markets and the effects of high gas and food prices on American families; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s transportation of migrants to Washington, DC and U.S. immigration policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.