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Friday, June 10, 2022

| June 10, 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, “2022 ½,” is a special edition of the program that looks back at the first six months of 2022. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/podcaster, MDEdge Psychcast; Daliah Wachs, M.D., physician/talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; and Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston/founder Samicide.com. 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; 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 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.

 

TALKERS 2022 Convention Takes Place Today at Hofstra University. The 25th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest and most important convention, TALKERS 2022, is taking place today on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in association with the prestigious university’s multi-award-winning station WRHU Radio. Its speaker lineup and attendees comprise a “who’s who” of the talk media industry and its agenda will boldly address the most compelling industry issues of the modern era. For video coverage of the convention, be sure to check in with TALKERS magazine every day in the coming weeks.

 

Stephan’s Show Rebrands, Moves to USA Radio Networks. In addition to jettisoning the title of his program from “The DJV Show” to its original “Good Day” moniker, Doug Stephan will segue his program to the USA Radio Network. Officially re-launching next Monday (6/13), “Good Day” with Stephan and co-host Jai Kershner will merge with USA’s “Daybreak.” The show Stephan launched in 1988 will continue to air in the morning and remains designed to time-shift to other dayparts. Affiliation will be handled by USA Radio Network, with that web’s president Chip Miller stating, “I’m excited to welcome Doug and ‘Good Day’ to the USA Radio Network family. Doug is an iconic fixture in morning radio throughout the country and we look forward to working with [him] and the ‘Good Day’ team. The lifestyle, non-political content ‘Good Day’ offers is something we feel more stations will welcome during a time when there’s so much going on in the world and in our society. Doug and ‘Good Day’ will serve as the cornerstone for an exciting growth plan for the network. This is our first programming change and show addition since acquiring the network in December 2021.” Stephan comments, “We’ve been hearing from some of our more than 300 affiliates of their frustration with how negative many news/talk programs have become. This move enables us to continue to present the news you need to know, along with our opinions, in addition to the positives that we see every day.” There will be no change in the format clock; technical; traffic; or sales partners. Stephan is the longest running syndicated host of a daily talk show and appears at #29 on TALKERS’ 2022 “Heavy Hundred.”

 

Guthrie Named iHM Florida Division President. Former six-year Cox Media Group president/chief executive officer Kim Guthrie is set to become iHeartMedia’s Florida division president. In that position, she will succeed Linda Byrd, who retires next month (7/15). Guthrie will report directly to iHeartMedia Markets Group president Hartley Adkins, who states, “At iHeart, we pride ourselves on being a ‘talent first’ company; this decision reflects that commitment. It’s rewarding to find someone who both understands what our listeners need and how to operate in a multi-platform environment. Kim checks every box and more. We’re thrilled she chose to bring her talents to iHeart. Her CEO experience at Cox Media Group makes her uniquely-qualified for this position.” Guthrie adds, “I am very excited to announce my ‘un-retirement.’ iHeart has become a true employment destination and I’m thrilled to be part of America’s #1 audio company. iHeart’s leadership has built a culture of respect, transparency and innovation. The entire team has made me feel like I can make a difference here.” Guthrie joined Cox Media Group in 1998 as vice president/general manager for its Long Island radio station group and later became executive vice president of CMG’s national ad platforms. As Cox Media Group’s CEO, she had complete oversight of the company, including nearly 100 broadcast radio and television stations; dozens of digital assets; and newspapers. She started her career as a television news reporter and anchor for several ABC affiliates. Guthrie was named “Woman of Distinction” by the March of Dimes and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In addition, she won the “Trailblazer Award” from Mentoring And Inspiring Women In Radio and the “Women Who Lead” honor from the Alliance For Women In Media.

 

Radio Mercury Awards Winners Announced. The 31st annual such event was held last night (Thursday, 6/9) in-person at New York’s Sony Hall, as well as virtually. This year’s “Best of Show” award was presented to FCB Chicago for its “Go RVing” radio commercial. Other winners included: Mockingbird, iHeartRadio App, The Studio at iHeartMedia (“Creative Radio Promotional Spot or Campaign by a Radio Station or Group”); Great American Settlers, Spreaker.com, The Studio at iHeartMedia tied with Kiddie Pool, The Kartrite Resort and Indoor Water Park, The Studio at iHeartMedia (“Creative Radio Commercial by a Radio Station or Group”); Tick Suck, Steve’s Pest Control, Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group; Dog Years, Motel 6, Barkley (Creative Radio Commercial by an Agency, Production Company, Or Advertiser); and Moolah, Georgia Lottery, BBDO Atlanta. Radio Mercury Awards chief judge/Campbell Ewald executive creative director Ale Ortiz comments, “It’s been an honor to be at this year’s Radio Mercury Awards and to award the incredible lineup of winners. The final round jury and I were very impressed by the winners’ ability to not only entertain listeners, but tell stories through radio and audio.” According to Radio Advertising Bureau president and chief executive officer/Radio Creative Fund chair Erica Farber, “This year’s awards once again proved the power of sound and demonstrated the strength of radio and audio in conveying a brand’s message. This was an incredible night for radio. It was so great to celebrate with everyone both in person and online.” Presenters from this year’s final round jury and advisory council included: freelance creative consultant Larissa Kirschner-Chaney; Josh Grossberg (McCann Health); Nicky Lorenzo (Taylor Global); Ciro Sarmiento (Weber Shandwick); and Joyce King Thomas (King Thomas). Event sponsors of this year’s event were Audacy and iHeartMedia. Dedicated sponsors included CBS News Radio, Hubbard Broadcasting and World Wide Wadio. General sponsors were Beasley Media Group; Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Katz Media Group; Salem Media Group; Skyview Networks; Sound and Fury; and WideOrbit, along with Friends of the Mercuries sponsors Forcht Broadcasting; Neuhoff Media; Nielsen; Triton Digital; and vCreative. For the complete list of winners and to listen to their work, go to www.RadioMercuryAwards.com. Shown in the photo are (left to right): Ale Ortiz; FCB Chicago’s Justin Enderstein and Andrés Ordóñez; and Erica Farber.

 

WTOP Partners With Greater DC-Maryland’s National MS Chapter. Through a series of on-air and online promotions, Hubbard Radio Washington, DC’s all-news WTOP will raise awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Announcements will highlight various MS events in the community in an effort to increase registrations – and ultimately – donations. WTOP general manager Joel Oxley states, “We wanted to do everything we could to help amplify the critical mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Our hope is that, through this partnership, we can help those in their journey with MS and work towards a world free of this devastating disease.” National MS Society Greater DC-Maryland Chapter president Chartese Berry remarks, “We are sincerely grateful [to] WTOP and their amazing partnership in joining our quest towards a world free of MS. Their strong reach in the region will help immensely in raising much needed awareness and funds to support the nearly one million people in the United States living with MS.” WTOP senior sports director Dave Johnson and WTOP anchor/reporter Mike Murillo were diagnosed with MS in 2019 and 2016, respectively. The two will contribute to the campaign by sharing their stories about how MS has effected them and their families. Johnson declares, “MS: Look out we are coming after you. We have the community and we have the support. My mom lost her battle to MS in 1979, and now with my WTOP family and the MS Society we are going to finish the fight.” Murillo adds, “I am so thankful to have benefited from new treatments for MS, but there is so much still to do including finding ways to repair the damage the disease can cause. With your help, I truly believe there will soon come a day when we can say there’s a cure for MS.” WTOP will highlight volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran NPR reporter/political correspondent Juana Summers is named one of the rotating co-hosts for the network’s flagship afternoon news program, “All Things Considered.” Summers has been covering politics, race, and justice for the network. She joins Alisa Chang, Mary Louise Kelly, and Ari Shapiro. Summers succeeds Audie Cornish, who departed NPR in January for CNN. According to VP/news programming Sarah Gilbert, “Propelled by her authoritative reporting expertise, versatile journalistic talent, and drive to explore and interrogate the most challenging questions of the moment, Juana emerged as the top candidate.” Summers states, “In my work as a political correspondent, I spend a lot of time talking with young people about the country and the world that they are inheriting. It’s made me think about the future of our audience and the opportunities that we have to grow. I’m excited to play a role in introducing a new, diverse generation of listeners to the blend of powerful storytelling, accountability journalism and culturally relevant conversations that can only [be found] on NPR.” Summers – who previously worked at Politico, CNN, Mashable and The Associated Press – begins her new duties in just over two weeks (6/27) … Housing and Urban Development secretary Marcia Fudge guested this past Sunday (6/5) on Multicultural Broadcasting-owned KBLA “Talk 1580,” Los Angeles’ “A More Perfect Union.” The HUD secretary and KBLA’s chief national political analyst, Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey, discussed the city’s homelessness problem; the need for affordable housing; and creative ways for first-time buyers to purchase a home and down payment assistance. Fudge commented that HUD is committed to equity by eliminating redlining of “certain kinds of neighborhoods.” … Effective next Monday (6/13), Randy Cable commences as director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Fort Myers/Naples cluster, which includes sports talk WBCN “ESPN Southwest Florida.” Vice president/market manager AJ Lurie comments, “The more people I asked about Randy, the more excited I got about having him on our team. I think he will be a perfect complement to our brands, products, and family here in Southwest Florida.” Spring Valley, New York native Cable notes, “I am thrilled to join the Beasley family and look forward to working with the incredible team in Fort Myers. I am passionate about helping our team help local businesses thrive and prosper with great ideas and our ability to develop/execute powerful fully-integrated radio and digital campaigns.” Cable formerly was integrated sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Miami and Jacksonville stations, and spent eleven years as director of sales for Audacy Greenville (South Carolina) … The Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association (CAPBA) recognizes Your Public Radio-owned public radio news/talk WYPR, Baltimore with five (5) first-place awards and seven (7) second-place awards for work done in 2021. Its first-place citations are in “Outstanding News Series”; “Outstanding Public Affairs”; “Outstanding Specialty Reporting”; “Outstanding Documentary/In-Depth Reporting”; and “Outstanding Serious Feature.” The CAPBA awards ceremony was held last Saturday (6/4) in Ocean City, Maryland. … In addition to hosting afternoon drive on iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO “News Radio 1040,” Simon Conway has been doing morning drive on similarly-formatted Orlando sibling WFLA “News Radio” and today adds a national assignment, filling in for Joe Pagliarulo. Conway’s PM drive program is simulcast on iHM’s WMT-AM “News Radio AM 600,” Cedar Rapids and WOC “News Talk 1420,” Davenport (Iowa). … Among the Delta Radio Greenville, Mississippi properties McConnell “Man@Large Adams will oversee as the newly-appointed operations director is WNIX “News Talk.” Adams most recently was director of content for Townsquare Media Lansing (Michigan).

 

Primaries and Trump & the GOP Top News/Talk Stories This Week. This week’s primary races – as well as the recall election of San Francisco’s progressive district attorney – combined as the top news/talk story for the week of June 6 – 10. At #2 this week was the U.S. economy, including the high price of gasoline and food, plus the concerns about a recession, followed by the January 6 Committee hearings at #3. The Talkers Ten is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week 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.

 

The Road Ahead. With TALKERS 2022 taking place today (Friday, 6/10) on the campus of Hofstra University, this marks our publication’s biggest day on the calendar. We’re right back at it again though next week, as TALKERS vice president/executive editor Kevin Casey leads team coverage of TALKERS 2022 highlights; in addition, we will post regular Monday morning memos from Holland Cooke and Steve Lapa. Later in the week, editor/publisher Michael Harrison reveals his latest guest on “The Michael Harrison Podcast,” while managing editor Mike Kinosian begins his four-part series on “Takeaways” from Nielsen Audio’s May 2022 survey period.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

| March 16, 2021

Cox Media Group’s ‘95.5 WSB’ Names Erick Erickson Early Afternoon Host. At news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, Cox Media Group announces that the daypart long occupied by the “Rush Limbaugh Show” will be hosted by the station’s Erick Erickson, beginning on Monday (3/22). Erickson will move from his current 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and the station’s early evening host Mark Arum will take over the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm program. WSB will air an hour of Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity program live at 3:00 pm and will air the rest of the show delayed from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. WSB director of branding & programming Drew Anderssen says, “With these lineup changes, 95.5 WSB will better serve Atlanta with more local programming. Erick Erickson and Mark Arum are both tremendous talents, and the move will continue to strengthen the extraordinary brand that is 95.5 WSB.” Erickson also hosts his own self-syndicated 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET talk radio show that has garnered almost 20 affiliate stations in its first year (although speculation has already begun that other syndication developments could be in the works that take into account the host’s new schedule).  Erickson says, “I would never have gotten into radio without encouragement from Rush Limbaugh who has been gracious over the years with a lot of great advice and guidance. It was an honor to fill in for him on his show, and it is overwhelming and humbling to move into the slot Rush occupied with such distinction for so long. I appreciate and intend to live up to the responsibility that comes with this time slot.” Mark Arum, who’s been with WSB since 1997, also serves as traffic anchor for WSB-TV’s “Channel 2 Action News This Morning.” Arum says, “When I was hired at 95.5 WSB over 23 years ago, I could never have envisioned that I would ever get the opportunity to host a drive time show on the best news and talk station in the nation. It’s a cliché, but this is truly a dream come true.”

WOKV-FM, Jacksonville Goes Local in the ‘Rush Daypart.’ As sister news/talk giant WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta is doing (see story above), Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville is filling the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart occupied by Rush Limbaugh for so many years with a local host, in this case current late morning personality Mark Kaye. CMG says that Kaye “has been growing his audience on 104.5 FM from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon for multiple years. Mark has gained a national following through multiple video streaming platforms, as well as a show on Newsmax TV.” Cox will fill Kaye’s current daypart with FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade whose radio show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Kaye comments, “As a life-long fan of Rush Limbaugh, I am still adjusting to a world without his voice. Producing a daily show in ‘Rush’s timeslot’ is a daunting task for any broadcaster, but I am grateful to the leadership team at CMG and 104.5 WOKV for placing their trust in me. With the audience’s help I promise to do my best to keep Rush’s spirit, energy, and unique brand of conservative entertainment alive. This is an incredibly bittersweet opportunity.”

iHeartMedia Names Paul Rogers Area President for North Florida. Media executive Paul Rogers is named area president for iHeartMedia’s newly configured North Florida area that includes Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Panama City. Rogers takes over for Nicky Sparrow who was recently promoted to SVP of multicultural sales for iHeartMedia Markets Group. Rogers reports to division president Linda Byrd. She says, “I’ve worked with Paul for over 35 years, in many different roles. His integrity, judgment, professionalism, and competitiveness are what any manager would look for in a market leader. He is the perfect choice as a successor, and I have no doubt that he will take this area to the next level. I also want to thank Nicky for the great work she has done in getting Jacksonville to where we are today and congratulate her on this exciting new opportunity to expand her role in iHeartMedia.” Rogers has been serving iHeartMedia as market president for Tallahassee and Panama City since 2017.

Townsquare Media 2020 Q4 Net Revenue Down 3.2%; Full Year Revenue Declines 15%. Compared the second quarter of 2020 when Townsquare Media’s net revenue was down 35% compared to 2019, the fourth quarter’s decline of just 3.2% was a source of joy for CEO Bill Wilson. While Q4 net revenue was $108.5 million (down 3.2%), net revenue for the full year was $371.3 million, down 15% from the full year 2019 ($431.4 million). What has Wilson pumped is Townsquare’s digital assets. He says, “Townsquare Interactive, our digital monthly subscription business, excelled throughout the year, accelerating year-over-year net revenue growth in Q4 to +16% and generating over $70 million of revenue for the full year (+14% YoY) at a profit margin of approximately 30%. In total, digital net revenue increased +6% year over year, driven by both Townsquare Interactive and Townsquare Ignite (our digital programmatic advertising platform), which grew net revenue by +11% year over year.  With $162 million of 2020 digital net revenue, digital now accounts for approximately 44% of our total net revenue, further differentiating us in the local media marketplace.” Wilson says that the company is proud of its roots and DNA in local radio, “2020 was the year Townsquare became a ‘Digital First’ company.” He says, “I am also pleased to reaffirm our expectation that Townsquare Interactive and Townsquare Ignite will each generate $100 million in revenue in two to three years. 2020 served to accelerate Townsquare’s transformation into a premier local media and digital marketing solutions company proudly super-serving markets outside the top 50 markets.”

TALKERS News Notes. One of WFAN, New York afternoon co-host Craig Carton’s fraud victims is petitioning the court asking that Carton’s restitution order be rewritten because Carton has returned to the Entercom sports talk station in what petitioner Gerard LoDuka says “is almost surely an extremely lucrative job,” according to a piece in the New York Post. LoDuka claims that the restitution order requiring him to pay 15% of his yearly income toward the nearly $5 million he owes victims should be rewritten because of his new, high-profile job. But Carton’s attorney says Carton makes “a fraction” of his previous salary as morning drive co-host…..Cumulus Media announces that for the second year in a row, news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno’s “Morning News” takes home the Golden Mike Award for “Best Newscast under 15 minutes” (Division B) from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California. KMJ news anchors Matt Otstot, Tony Manes, Liz Kern and Aaron Abeytia – along with sports anchor George Takata and weather anchor Kimberly Kolliner – teamed up for the winning newscast…..The National Association of Broadcasters is offering a new online training course for radio stations containing critical information and guidelines for complying with Federal Communications Commission regulations. The Radio Rules! A Guide to FCC Regulations for Radio Stations course is now available here. The scenario-based training course tests participants’ understanding of acceptable practices for FCC regulation compliance. The guide outlines compliance related to content, advertising, station operation and management, copyright, and public files and reporting in four learning activities.

Mildred Carter Mentoring Program Announces 2021 Participants. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, a volunteer organization dedicated to developing management and leadership skills for women in radio broadcasting, introduces the MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program’s Class of 2021. They are (pictured above from left to right) The 2021 class is comprised of the following professionals, listed in alphabetical order: Lisa Kirkman, national accounts director, Ruby Radio, Northeastern Nevada; Jenna Miller, integrated sales manager, Cox Media Group, Tampa; Tonee Roper, on-air personality and promotions director, Neuhoff Media, Springfield, Illinois; and Ashley Wilson, director of country programming, iHeartMedia, Kentucky/Indiana Region. The program, now in its 20th year, matches up-and-coming women in radio with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of the industry. vCreative is serving as the lead sponsor of this year’s program. The MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter who, along with her husband Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African American-owned radio station in the U.S. in 1950, when they turned on KPRS, Kansas City.

Migrant Border Crisis, COVID-19, Cuomo Allegations, Stimulus Package, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Voting Bills, Georgia’s Trump Investigation, Gavin Newsom Recall Effort, North Korea Warns U.S., and the Grammy Awards/Oscar Nominations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15). The Biden administration’s immigrant problem as thousands of parentless children amass at the U.S.-Mexico border; the number of COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, the removal of mask mandates in some states, and the rollout of vaccines; the sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the fellow Democrats calling for his resignation; Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package becomes law; the voting bills in various states critics say will make voting more difficult; the investigation into Donald Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State asking for more votes; California Governor Gavin Newsom battles the recall effort against him; the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un warns the U.S. about military exercises with South Korea, and Sunday night’s Grammy awards and the unveiling of this year’s Oscar nominations were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

| January 5, 2021

Mike Luery Named Assistant News Director for KFBK, Sacramento. Radio and television news pro Mike Luery joins iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento “News 93.1” as 24/7 News and KFBK assistant news director for iHeartMedia’s Pacific region. iHeartMedia Pacific region news director Jayson Campadonia says that in this role, Luery will “help oversee news in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. He’ll report on everything from breaking news to politics to state fairs. With his vast experience in the news business, he will additionally play a critical role in developing young news talent.” KFBK program director Bill White states, “We look forward to Mike being an integral partner in contributing to the news content on ‘The KFBK Morning News with Cristina Mendonsa and Sam Shane’ as well as ‘The KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O’Neal.’ Mike, with his decades of news experience in Sacramento, will be an excellent addition to our team of Northern California news veterans.” Luery served with Hearst Television’s KCRA-TV, Sacramento for 24 years. He began his career as news director at KZOZ-FM in San Luis Obispo, California.

WGY-AM/FM, Albany Adds Doug Goudie to Morning Show. Longtime Boston media figure Doug Goudie becomes part of the morning show at iHeartMedia’s WGY-AM/FM, Albany on Thursday (1/7), partnering with current air personality Kelly Lynch. Goudie assumes the role left vacant after Chuck Custer retired from the station in December following a 36-year career with WGY. Goudie, a.k.a. V.B. – short for Virgin Boy – got his nickname from Boston talk radio legend Howie Carr during his time working on Carr’s show at WRKO, Boston where he began his media career back in the late 1990s. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “With Doug’s rich experience as a recent midday talk host on iHeartMedia Boston’s WRKO, TV commentator on WFXT-TV, and long-stint on The Howie Carr Radio Show, I’m confident that he will satisfy the expectations of WGY listeners for years to come. The heart of what brings so many Capital Region listeners to WGY in the morning will remain unchanged. Doug and Kelly will both entertain and inform with meaningful conversations on the important local and national stories of the day but having fun will continue to be part of the show as well.”

Steve Czaban Exits WTEM, Washington; No Change to WRNW-FM, Milwaukee Gig. Sports talk host Steve Czaban announced via Twitter that he’s exited Washington, DC sports talk outlet WTEM “The Team” as his contract was up and new owner Entercom took control of the station from Urban One. While he won’t be doing a daily show in Washington, he will remain with Entercom on a part-time basis and will host a Saturday morning program on sister sports talker WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Czaban says the change in DC has no effect on his Milwaukee radio show heard daily in morning drive on iHeartMedia’s WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game.” Czaban calls his exit from WTEM a mutual one, telling the MBJ, “As my contract was coming to an end, I had been contemplating a change of pace and direction for some time now. This is the right move for me at the right time. I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity, and any others that may present themselves in the future.”

Beasley Media Group Begins 60th Anniversary Celebration. The logo you see here is being unveiled by Beasley Media Group to commemorate the company’s 60th anniversary. The company says, “On December 2, 1961, a young high school principal named George Beasley launched WPYB-AM in Benson, North Carolina with the vision of providing a voice for the voiceless in the local community! Today, Beasley Media Group is a multiplatform media company providing advertising and digital marketing solutions across the United States with 64 radio properties located in 15 large and medium markets across the country. Beasley also offers capabilities in audio technology, esports, podcasting, ecommerce, and events. Featured on the NASDAQ, BBGI is ranked among the publicly traded media companies in America.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “We are so thrilled to be able to celebrate the incredible legacy that our father, George, began back in 1961 when he built his very first AM station in Benson, North Carolina. It’s such a privilege to be able to build upon his forward-thinking vision and continue to blaze new innovative trails in today’s ever-changing industry with our outstanding employees and management team. Here’s to the next 60 years!”

Noted Record Producer and “Urban Philosopher” Robbie Stevens Rejoins TalkersRadio.  The TALKERS editorial board announces the return of Robbie Stevens to the talent roster of TalkersRadio. Stevens, who was the first talent signed for TalkersRadio – a service of TALKERS magazine – when it launched in the fall of 2013, has agreed to perform as a commentator on the platform for a “limited engagement” that will run through June of 2021. The Bronx-based New York City native is well-known in the music industry for his years of innovative studio work with a wide variety of high-profile artists, most recently on behalf of the estate and fans of the late John Lennon, for which he has achieved critical acclaim for his “raw” remix of the legendary artist’s Imagine album. He also most recently executive produced 13 Billboard #1 Dance Chart singles in a row, for Yoko Ono’s innovative ensemble Ono. He also recently produced (with Yoko Ono) the “John Lennon Anthology,” a four-CD set of unreleased material that was Rolling Stone magazine’s boxed set of the year. During his colorful career, he’s played on, mixed, or produced records by Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other high-profile musicians going back decades. During this time, Stevens has developed an alternative career as a talk radio host and commentator heard occasionally via on-air and online outlets provided by heritage NYC stations WOR and WNYM (in addition to TalkersRadio). On the return of Stevens to TalkersRadio, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations (and former WOR PD) David Bernstein says, “Robbie brings a real East Coast urban perspective that is reflective of both the street and academia to the news/talk radio conversation. His ‘tell it like it is’ style is a provocative blend of gruff ‘everyman’ street talk and intelligent, eclectic inquiry into the mysteries of the universe, combining politics with pop culture, science and down-to-Earth sociology. You don’t hear his progressive position that often on today’s terrestrial news/talk radio and frankly, regardless of your politics, it is amazingly refreshing.” For example, Stevens has served as vice president of the board for a well-known youth basketball/education program that’s won national championships and helps kids from diverse backgrounds reach their academic goals. To listen to Robbie Steven’s new series of commentaries on TalkersRadio, please click here. TalkersRadio is an “experimental” talk radio platform launched in 2013 by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts.” Since its launch it has been a temporary home to a number of spoken-word talents – both high-profile and obscure – who’ve used it to work and showcase concepts that have gone on to achieve terrestrial radio exposure and even national syndication. In addition to Stevens, current TalkersRadio hosts include Claire CarterMeg McDonald, and UK sensation, Graham Mack. At the time of his passing, Alan Colmes was working on a series concept called “Healed Planet” heard on TalkersRadio which offered a glimpse into the late FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star’s metaphysical interests. Files of that fledgling show remain archived on TalkersRadio as a tribute to Colmes. For more information about TalkersRadio, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Radio Advertising Bureau Updates Board of Directors. With the new year comes an update to the board of directors for the Radio Advertising Bureau. Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw is the vice chair and Townsquare Media COO Erik Hellum is the finance chair. The RAB also announces that Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes joins the executive committee. Neuhoff Media COO Mike Hulvey continues to serve as chair and Univision president and regional radio general manager Sabina Widmann is serving as secretary.

New York Public Media Names Nsikan Akpan Health and Science Editor. Joining New York Public Media’s WNYC Newsroom is Nsikan Akpan, who begins his role as health & science editor on January 11. Akpan was most recently serving with National Geographic as science editor, overseeing COVID-19 coverage in addition to other types of science, health and technology news. Prior to that, he served for more than four years at “PBS NewsHour.” He and his team won a 2020 Emmy for the PBS NewsHour series “Stopping a Killer Pandemic” and in 2019 received a George Foster Peabody Award for the PBS NewsHour series “The Plastic Problem.”

Georgia Runoff Elections/Trump GA Appearance, Trump’s Call to GA Sec. of State, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, UK Lockdown, China and Pandemic’s Origin, Iran Seizes South Korean Oil Tanker, and the NYSE’s Chinese Telecom Delisting About Face Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The buildup to today’s runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats and Donald Trump’s appearance to stump for the Republicans; the controversy over Trump’s call to Georgia’s Secretary of State seeking to overturn his loss in that state; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the UK orders a lockdown to stem the tide of COVID cases; questions about China’s stifling the investigation into the origin of the coronavirus; Iran seizes a South Korean oil freighter in the Persian Gulf; and the New York Stock Exchange reverses course on plans to delist three Chinese telecom companies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

| October 7, 2020

2020 Radio Show: “What Business Are You In Now?”  For years – as digital competitors horned-in-on radio Time Spent Listening, and lured advertisers – convention panels have talked-the-talk. Yet cutbacks have compromised the local content that will always be broadcasters’ silver bullet. This Radio Show session details how Neuhoff Media/Decatur walked-the-walk, and made money, during the pandemic shutdown. Read it here.

Syndicated Radio Personality Walter Sterling Says the Technical Snafu During Entercom CEO David Field’s NAB Radio Show Remarks was the ‘Single Most Important Event of the Virtual Conference.  Syndicated radio host Walter Sterling (a.k.a. Walter Sabo, the longtime radio consultant) pointed to a key takeaway from the current NAB/RAB Radio Show taking place virtually. Sterling tells TALKERS, “The key takeaway of the Radio Show was the opening of David Field’s remarks. His video/audio internet connection crashed and was unstable. That was the single most important event. It showed the high risk for any advertiser to invest in the unproven medium of online video and audio streaming. That’s why media buying companies put online video campaign money on the ‘Test Budget’ line of their spreadsheets.” Sterling adds, “Radio is a proven medium that continues to work. It has streamed to the car since 1938. Everyone knows how to access radio content, from eight to 98-year-olds and they access it because they love it. That’s the news.” Today (10/7) marks the third day of the conference.

Bloomberg: Sirius and Howard Stern Close to New Deal. According to a report by Bloomberg, SiriusXM and Howard Stern are very close to a contract extension that will pay the radio legend $120 million per year. The story quotes outgoing SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer saying at a Goldman Sachs conference that Stern is still valuable to the company. “I can tell you that we understand the economics very, very well, for instance, of content like Howard Stern. I can look every investor in the eye and tell them that is a good investment for Sirius XM.” Neither SiriusXM nor Stern’s representatives commented for the Bloomberg piece. Stern’s most recent deal, signed in 2015, is estimated to have paid him between $80 million and $100 million per year.

Forbes: Mark Levin Facebook Page Restricted. A Forbes story by Jonathan Berr indicates that the Facebook page of Westwood One nationally syndicated talk radio personality Mark Levin has been restricted for “repeated sharing of false news.” It’s not clear what Levin posted that Facebook found objectionable but Levin, via a post on the conservative platform Parler, denies the allegation of misleading users and says Facebook is guilty of “censorship” and “pushing a left-wing agenda.” He added, “Every link I post is from a legitimate source. But because so many people are seeing what I’m posting and we’re within weeks of the election, it’s clear that Facebook is trying to influence the election’s outcome.” In his story, Berr cites an NPR piece that says a half dozen “technology experts, including data scientists who have special access to Facebook’s internal metrics” that it contacted concluded “there is no statistical evidence to support the argument that Facebook does not give conservative views a fair shake.” The NPR piece goes on to say that publicly available data shows that “conservative news regularly ranks among some of the popular content on the site.”

Call for Repeal of Section 230 Raises Issues for Media Industry. The movement to repeal Section 230 of the 1990s-era Communications Decency Act – which allows users to put content on the Internet without making the platforms themselves liable – is gaining momentum with President Trump, his Democratic challenger Joe Biden, as well as numerous members of Congress calling for a change in that protection. In fact, earlier this summer the president issued an executive order asking the FCC to create new Section 230 rules and ordered the FTC to act on incidents of deceptive communication. Critics of Section 230 say it is outdated because of the ubiquity and influence of today’s social media and its role in the public discourse as well in the health and safety realms. The Republican-sponsored Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act would “condition the content moderation liability shield on an objective reasonableness standard. In order to be protected from liability, a tech company may only restrict access to content on its platform where it has ‘an objectively reasonable belief’ that the content falls within a certain, specified category.” You can read that bill here. Free speech organizations such as Fight for the Future argue bills such as the one cited here would only make matters worse. Reacting to President Trump’s recent tweet attacking Section 230, Fight for the Future deputy director Evan Greer says websites would become legally responsible for the opinions of its users. As a result, “social media platforms would likely engage in mass censorship and banning of accounts rather than open themselves up to lawsuits for hosting controversial opinions – Trump’s accounts would surely be among the first to go. It would strip users of key protections too. Who’s excited to get sued for retweeting something? The reality is that lawmakers from across the political spectrum are deeply misinformed about how Section 230 actually works. It feels like every week there’s a new misguided proposal in Congress. But repealing Section 230 won’t do anything to hold Big Tech companies accountable or address the harms done by their data harvesting business models. And it won’t do anything to address concerns around biased moderation or the silencing of marginalized voices.” Any changes in Section 230 would apply to audio content as well as text, images, memes, etc.

TALKERS News Notes. Next Tuesday (10/13), Edison Research and NPR will present a webinar (2:00 pm ET) in which they will reveal the results of the second annual “Spoken Word Audio Report.” The data indicates that Americans’ share of listening to spoken word audio is up over 8% in the last year and in the report “NPR and Edison Research explore what is driving this increase and how news, podcasts, audiobooks, and talk radio continue to cut into time that was previously spent with music.” The study promises to reveal which listeners are spending more time with spoken word audio; how time spent with audio has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; provide excerpts from in-depth interviews that help explain changes in listening behavior; and results from a new national survey that measured these behaviors on a larger scale. Findings will be published online at the conclusion of the webinar. You can register for the webinar here…..Nielsen announces that Radio Research Consortium, Inc. signs a multi-year renewal agreement to license individual non-commercial stations for Nielsen syndicated products, including Nielsen Scarborough syndicated services. Radio Research Consortium president Joanne Church says, “As a long-term user of Nielsen data, we are looking forward to continuing our relationship as we advance our mission and commitment to provide audience data to non-commercial radio stations.”…..Cadence13, a division of Entercom’s Podcast Network, announces an exclusive partnership with Karina Longworth for “You Must Remember This,” the storytelling podcast exploring the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. Navigating through conflicting reports, mythology, and institutionalized spin, Longworth tries to sort out what really happened behind the films, stars, and scandals of the 20th century. Previous seasons of the show explored stars and scandals including Polly Platt, the woman behind some of the most legendary films of the 1970s and 1980s; the complicated racial and historical dynamics of Disney’s animated film Song of the South; Joan Crawford; the Hollywood Blacklist; and Charles Manson’s Hollywood.

2020 Radio Mercury Awards Announced. The 2020 Radio Mercury Awards were held virtually yesterday evening (10/6) and the Radio Advertising Bureau says that this year’s winners “will serve as a time capsule of work created during the current unusual times.” BBDO Atlanta chief creative officer Robin Fitzgerald served as chief judge for this year’s competition and says, “The innovation and creativity that we heard with this year’s winning audio truly impressed the jury. From at-home recording to using bots as talent, these winners showcased what it means to convey a brand’s message in a way that is both storytelling and story-doing.” RAB president and CEO Erica Farber adds, “Tonight’s awards presentation reflects the power of radio creative and its ability to deliver for listeners and advertisers. Despite these unprecedented times, the Radio Mercury Awards winners continued to bring their all to this year’s awards and pushed the medium forward.” You can watch the program here.

Trump’s COVID-19 Case/White House Safety Protocols, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, the Presidential Race/VP Debate, Stimulus Deal Dead, Big Tech Breakup Talk/Facebook Bans QAnon, Texas Cop Charged in Shooting of Black Man, McCloskeys Indicted, California Wildfires, Hurricane Delta, Eddie Van Halen Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/6). Controversy over President Trump’s return to the White House after his COVID-19 diagnosis and the White House safety protocols; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for increased cases this fall and through the winter; the November presidential election and tonight’s vice presidential debate; Trump’s announcement that stimulus deal negotiations will be put off until after the election; chatter in Washington about breaking up the Big Tech companies and Facebook’s ban on QAnon content; a Texas police officer is charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed Black man; a St. Louis couple is charged with weapons violations and tampering with evidence after brandishing guns during protests near their home; the ongoing California wildfires; Hurricane Delta loses strength; and rock guitar legend Eddie Van Halen dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Don Chris Williams, a.k.a. “DJ Wrekk-1,” signs an extension with Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach to continue his roles as brand content director and afternoon drive host on urban AC WMBX “X102.3.” Cluster operations manager Bruce Logan comments, “We are so excited to continue our relationship with Don Chris ‘DJ Wrekk-1’ Williams! Don has done a masterful job of growing the WMBX ratings. Under Don’s leadership WMBX has achieved new rating highs and is a vital part of the West Palm Beach African American community.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle’s classic rock KZOK helped raise more than $116,000 during its 23rd annual “Rock The Harvest” radiothon to benefit Northwest Harvest, Washington State’s leading hunger relief agency that supports a statewide network of 375 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools. The 12-hour broadcast was hosted by “The Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show” personalities in which listeners were encouraged to call in to the show and donate $102.50, enough funds to provide nutritious meals to a family of four for a month. Over the past 23 years, “Rock the Harvest” has raised more than $1.3 million to benefit Northwest Harvest.

2020 Radio Show: ‘What Business Are You in Now?’

| October 7, 2020

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Day 2 video of the NAB/RAB virtual Radio Show is now available on-demand (radio.nabshow.com), and you might want to register just to see this session.

For years, as digital competitors have horned-in-on radio’s Time Spent Listening and enchanted advertisers, convention panels have talked-the-talk that we can’t just be a radio station any more…as cutbacks compromised the local content that will always be broadcasters’ silver bullet.

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