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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

| August 9, 2022

Round One of July PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York City, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC adds a full share to finish with a 4.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and rises to the #7 rank, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR loses one-tenth for a 1.9 share finish good for the #19 rank. Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN, Chicago adds seven-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.3 share and rises to the #10 rank. Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM sheds four-tenths to post a 4.6 share and falls from #2 to #4. In Dallas, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WBAP continues its upward trajectory adding a half share for a 4.5 share finish that pushes it to the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta is steady with a 5.7 share and remains locked in the #4 spot. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

AM 790 in Providence Returns to Sports Talk as ‘790 The Score.’ Heritage Providence station WPRV-AM completes its previously announced flip from business news to sports talk as Cumulus Media launches “790 The Score.” The station – originally WEAN-AM when it debuted in 1922 – broadcast a sports talk format for about 10 years from 1998 through 2008 as WSKO “The Score.” That was replaced by oldies for about a year before flipping to business talk in 2009. Cumulus says the new station “brings sports and sports betting news, information, and insights to the burgeoning and underserved sports betting audience in the Providence area. ‘790 The Score’ delivers behind-the-book perspectives from experts in a highly entertaining and engaging format.” Cumulus Providence VP and market manager Holly Paras says, “It’s official: ‘790 The Score’ is now Providence’s best bet for sports fans and sports betting enthusiasts, and we couldn’t be more excited! The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage, along with New England Patriots football, New York Yankees baseball, Boston Celtics basketball, and Brown University football and basketball play-by-play. We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love ‘790 The Score!’” The program lineup includes: Bet MGM, Bet QL, Jim Rome, local host Kevin McNamara, and more.

KHOW, Denver’s Michael Brown Named New Host of ‘The Weekend.’ Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA, Michael Brown – host of “The Situation with Michael Brown” on iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver – is named the full-time host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio program, “The Weekend.” The three-hour show is heard on more than 300 stations nationwide. Brown takes over for Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo as the regular host of the show. Brown says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to take the reins of ‘The Weekend.’ When Premiere asked me to sign on full-time, it was a no brainer. I’m looking forward to furthering my connection with this nationwide audience each week. We’re going to have a great time together as we go beyond the headlines to tackle the stories that matter most with honesty, smarts and a dose of fun.”

Westwood One Audio Active Group: Only Half of NFL Fans Are Aware Thursday Night Games Are Only on Amazon Prime. This week’s blog from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group includes data from a national study from MARU/Matchbox of 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 that indicates half of frequent NFL viewers and only 30% of occasional NFL viewers are aware that “Thursday Night Football” will only be available on Amazon Prime Video. Although the majority of football fans with Amazon Prime say they’ll watch NFL “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video, about half of “Thursday Night Football” viewers are not Amazon Prime members. This presents opportunity for Westwood One as after a decade behind a paywall, the audio stream of its national broadcasts will now be available for local radio station affiliates. The Westwood One national audio stream will also be available on the free NFL app. For years WFAN listeners in the New York market could hear the game over the air but not on WFAN’s audio stream. Now listeners will have the option to listen to Westwood One’s Monday night, Thursday night, and Sunday night broadcasts on their smart speakers, smartphones, and laptops. See the blog post here.

Three Executive Promotions at Triton Digital. The company announces that three executives are being promoted within the company. Oscar Sermeno is upped to vice president of market strategy, Americas; Daniel Karlsson is promoted to vice president, market development and global strategy; and Michael Chien is elevated to vice president of advertising product strategy. Triton Digital president and CEO John Rosso comments, “Triton Digital continues on a trajectory of rapid growth and global expansion. These recent promotions within our leadership team will play an instrumental role in furthering Triton’s innovative spirit while maintaining operational excellence and expanding the company’s presence around the world. All while continuing to provide best-in-class audio streaming, podcasting, audience measurement, and advertising technology on a global scale.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated program, “The Dana Show” – starring Dana Loesch, adds new affiliate WFLF-AM, Orlando “WFLA.” The iHeartMedia station is picking up the Radio America-syndicated show for the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the availability of the 2022 Election Toolkit – an online resource that provides local television and radio broadcasters with ideas and information to cover the 2022 local, state and federal elections. The 2022 Election Toolkit provides assets to help broadcasters serve their communities in the lead-up to Election Day on November 8. It includes information on identifying false statements online, suggested tactics for hosting debates, voter registration resources and guides for finding local polling places. Broadcast-ready public service announcements encouraging voter participation are also available in both English and Spanish through the toolkit. NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says, “Local broadcasters are a trusted and reliable source of news and information, which takes on heightened importance in combatting disinformation as Americans exercise their right to vote. The toolkit will equip radio and television stations in helping voters make informed decisions at the polls – an essential component in ensuring the vitality of our democracy.” Find it here…..Two podcasts – “Smart Talks with IBM,” an iHeartRadio show produced in collaboration with Pushkin and IBM, and “Bridgerton: The Official Podcast,” a Shondaland Audio and iHeartRadio program, are receiving a 2022 Adweek Podcast of the Year Award. Adweek’s annual Podcast of the Year Awards recognizes the best podcasts, featuring shows across 28 categories aimed at all sorts of audiences.

FBI Searches Mar-a-Lago, The Economy, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Taiwan/U.S.-China Relations, Russia-Ukraine War, and Olivia Newton-John Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/8). The FBI executes a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club as part of an investigation into presidential documents; the still-high price of gasoline and food and concerns about a recession; November’s midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; China’s ramped up military exercises around Taiwan and the tenuous relations between the U.S. and China; Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy; and Olivia Newton-John dies at 73 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

July 2022 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| August 9, 2022

July 2022 PPM Data – Information for the July 2022 ratings period has been released for New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Nielsen Audio’s July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20.

TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty.

Cited as well are each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are June 2022 – July 2022 (6+).

 

NEW YORK

News/Talk: Red Apple Media’s WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” 3.1 – 4.1, +1.0, #11 to #7

iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 2.0 – 1.9, -.1, flat at #18

News: Audacy’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 2.7 – 3.2 +.5, #14 to #11 and co-owned WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) 2.4 – 2.7, +.3, #17 to #14

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) 3.3 – 3.1, -.2, #10 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 3.5 – 3.6, +.1, eighth to ninth

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, second month in a row, 6.4 – 6.0, -.4

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: news/talk WABC-AM & WLIR-FM (+1.0)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: rhythmic CHR WKTU (-.5)

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFI “AM 640” 4.3 – 4.5, +.2, repeats in fifth-place

News: Audacy-owned KNX-FM “News 97.1” 3.1 – 3.0, -.1, flat at #11

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Pasadena Area Community College’s KPCC 2.6 – 2.3, -.3, #14 to #16

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies KRTH, first month, unchanged at 5.5

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase (Tie): Spanish contemporary KLVE; alternative KROQ; classical KUSC; and jazz KKJZ (+.5)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: adult contemporary KOST (-.6)

Note: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST had been #1 the past twelve months

CHICAGO

News/Talk: Nexstar Media Group’s WGN “Radio 720” 2.6 – 3.3, +.7, #15 to #10

News: Audacy-owned WBBM-AM & WCFS “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” 5.0 – 4.6, -.4, second to fifth

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WSCR “670 The Score” (Cubs) 2.1 – 2.4, +.3, #22 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: Chicago Public Media-owned WBEZ 4.6 – 5.1, +.5, fourth to third

Number One 6+: Hubbard Radio classic rock WDRV, third month in a row, 6.8 – 6.1, -.7

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: adult contemporary WLIT (+.8)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease (Tie): classic rock WDRV and classical WFMT (-.7)

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KSFO “Talk Radio 560” steady at 1.9, #18 to #17

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 6.3 – 6.2, -.1, third to second

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” (Giants) 4.3 – 3.3, -1.0, fourth to sixth

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.-owned KQED 6.4 – 8.0, +1.6, second to first

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED first month, 6.4 – 8.0, +1.6

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: public radio news/talk KQED (+1.6)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease (Tie): sports talk KNBR and similarly-formatted KGMZ (-1.0)

DALLAS

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned WBAP “News Talk 820 AM & 99.5 HD2 FM” 4.0 – 4.5, +.5, sixth to fourth

News – Talk: Audacy’s KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” 2.5 – 2.4, -.1, #18 to #17

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “Sports Radio The Ticket” 4.4 – 3.7, -.7, fourth to eighth

Public Radio News/Talk: North Texas Public Broadcasting-owned KERA steady at 3.2, #13 to #12

Number One 6+: Univision regional Mexican KLNO, sixth month in a row, 7.4 – 5.9, -1.5

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: regional Mexican KMVK (+.7)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: regional Mexican KLNO (-1.5)

HOUSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 News Radio” (Astros) flat at 4.2, repeats in eighth-place

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Houston-owned KUHF 2.6 – 2.3, -.3, anchored at #18

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA, sixteenth consecutive month, 7.7 – 8.0, +.3

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: country KKBQ (+.6)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: regional Mexican KLTN (-1.5)

ATLANTA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group-owned WSB-AM & WSBB “Atlanta’s News & Talk” unchanged at 5.7, continues at #4

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN “The Fan” (Braves) steady at 2.3, #17 to #16

WZGC “92.9 The Game” 1.8 – 1.4, -.4, #18 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE 2.9 – 3.8, +.9, #11 to #8

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV, seventh successive month, 9.7 – 11.0, +1.3

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: classic hits-oldies WSRV (+1.3)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: contemporary Christian WVFJ (-1.1)

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 1.0 – 1.3, +.3, #22 to #20

News: Audacy-owned KYW & WPHI “News Radio 1060 AM & 103.9 FM” 5.0 – 4.9, -.1, seventh to sixth

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WIP “Sports Radio 94” (Phillies) 4.6 – 4.0, -.6, continues in eighth-place

Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” 1.6 – 1.4, -.2, #19 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY-owned WHYY 5.4- 4.3, -1.1, fifth to seventh

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM, first month, 8.0 – 8.5, +.5

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: country WUSL (+.8)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: public radio news/talk WHYY (-1.1)

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: Red Apple Media-owned WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” 2.3 – 3.0, +.7, #18 to #13

iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 3.5 – 2.4, -1.1, #8 to #16

News: Audacy’s WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets)” 3.1 – 3.2, +.1, #12 to #11 and cluster-mate WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 2.7 – 2.4, -.3, #15 to #16

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) 3.2 – 3.4, +.2, #11 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group classic rock WBAB, third month in succession, 5.5 – 6.3, +.8

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: classic rock WBAB (+.8)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: adult standards WHLI (-1.3)

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: San Bernardino Community College District’s KVCR, flat at .3, remains at #19

Number One 6+: Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA, seventh consecutive month, 7.5 – 7.1, -.4

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: contemporary Christian KSGN (+1.8)*

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: rhythmic CHR KGGI (-.9)

*Represents the largest June 2022 – July 2022  increase (6+) of any station from these 12 PPM-markets

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KGO “810 AM” 2.0 – 2.1, +.1, #16 to #18 and cluster-mate KSFO “Talk Radio 560” 2.0 – 1.9, -.1, #16 to #20

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 5.3 – 5.7, +.4, fourth to third

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” (Giants) 2.5 – 2.4, -.1, #12 to #14

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: Empire Audacy adult contemporary KOIT-FM, first month 6.4 – 7.1, +.7

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: country KBAY (+1.3)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: contemporary Christian KLRK (-2.4)**

**Represents the largest June 2022 – July 2022  decrease (6+) of any station from these 12 PPM-markets

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: Townsquare Media-owned WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 5.7 – 5.0, -.7, first to third

News: Audacy’s WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) 1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #16 to #15 and co-owned WINS 1.1 – 1.0, -.1, locked  at #20

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) flat at 3.1, continues in tenth-place

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, first month, 4.8 – 6.1, +1.3

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Increase: adult contemporary WLTW (+1.3)

Largest 6+ June 2022 – July 2022  Decrease: urban contemporary WWPR (-.7)

Up next: July 2022 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis.

Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Monday, August 8, 2022

| August 8, 2022

Pending Business: When Controversy Strikes. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “If you’ve been selling or managing talk radio for a longer than you would like to admit, there is a good chance you’ve experienced the pushback when a talent inadvertently steps over a line. When it becomes a deal breaker or a cancellation, you’re not alone. Sometimes a talent will make an honest mistake and your management will step in to right the ship. Sometimes not, and we all know how that ends.” Read more here.

 

Monday Memo: The Resourceful Podcaster, Parked. The pandemic shutdown forced radio and TV broadcasters into working remotely. Many in radio continue to. “They’re podcasters with transmitters” consultant Holland Cooke quips. In this week’s column, his scrappy tip for giving podcasts the polish that broadcast listeners expect. Read it here.

iHeartRadio Tops Podtrac’s July 2022 Top Podcast Publishers Chart. The Top Podcast Publishers chart for the month of July has been published by Podtrac. The chart, based on unique monthly audience (United States), places iHeartRadio in the #1 spot with a UMA of 29.5 million. Wondery comes in second place with a UMA of 21.2 million, followed by NPR at #3 with a UMA of 17 million. Other podcast publishers of note making the Top 20 chart include: PodcastOne at #8 (UMA 6.1 million), FOX Audio Network at #11 (UMA 4.4 million), and Cumulus Podcast Network at #15 (UMA 3.6 million). See the complete chart here.

 

Joe Benigno Returning to WFAN, New York in Part-Time Capacity. During an appearance on the afternoon drive “Carton & Roberts” show on WFAN, New York on Friday (8/5), former midday talk host Joe Benigno revealed he’s going to be returning to WFAN to host a regular Saturday morning show on the station as well as a Monday segment with midday hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney. He says he’ll also do some fill-in work on “The Fan.” Benigno, who co-hosted the midday show with Evan Roberts, retired from the Audacy sports talk station last November.

Inflation Reduction Act, CPAC 2022, China’s Taiwan Threats, Alex Jones Trial, Gaza Fighting, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19/Monkey Pox Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act that moves to the House this week and President Joe Biden’s claim of victory for American families should it become law; the CPAC 2022 weekend convention highlighted by a keynote speech by former President Donald Trump; China ramps up military exercises near Taiwan in the aftermath of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to the island; the Texas jury in the Alex Jones defamation case levies $45.2 million in punitive damages against him; the fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; the rate of COVID cases in the U.S. and the global spread of Monkey Pox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

| August 4, 2022

Richard Neer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Legendary WFAN, New York sports talk show host/rock radio pioneer Richard Neer and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison have been close friends and radio colleagues for more than half of the medium’s 100-year history. Needless to say, they always have plenty to talk about regarding media and popular culture – past, present, and future. Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” marking his record-breaking seventh visit since the program debuted as one of the platform’s earliest offerings in 2015. In addition to his rich on-air history, Neer is the prolific author of 10 Riley King murder mystery novels and his historic overview of album rock radio, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains a literary milestone chronicling the golden days of the AOR era. On this podcast, Harrison and Neer talk about a wide variety of topics including Joni Mitchell’s recent performance at the Newport Folk Festival, the high cost of Bruce Springsteen concert tickets, the controversial LIV Golf tour backed by Saudi Arabia, changes in the record business, the challenges of writing and publishing historical fiction, movies, TV, CGI and a whole lot more. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Rises 5.4%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2022, Cumulus Media reveals net revenue of $236.7 million – an increase of 5.4% over the same period in 2021. The company also reports net income of $8.7 million for the quarter after posting a net loss of $5.9 million during Q2 of 2021. Total broadcast revenue for Cumulus fell 0.3% to $175.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2021. While radio spot revenue was $127 million – up 5.1% over Q2 2021, network revenue slipped 12% to $48.7 million. Cumulus Media’s digital segment rose 20.3% to $37.8 million. CEO Mary Berner comments, “Our ability to deliver yet another quarter of strong results is testament both to the quality of our strategic plan and the discipline and relentlessness with which we implement it.  Specifically, we have deployed our multi-platform audio-first content strategy, developed multiple digital businesses, significantly reduced fixed costs, undertaken high ROI internal investments, and created a best-in-class balance sheet that gives the company substantial financial flexibility and capital allocation optionality. Given our track record, we have tremendous confidence in our ability, under this plan, to grow shareholder value. Despite the challenging macro environment, we increased revenue in the quarter by more than 5%, driven by our digital businesses whose growth accelerated in Q2 to 20% year-over-year. Additionally, bolstered by our ongoing focus on fixed cost reductions, this quarter we generated additional cash from operations and increased net income, EBITDA and EBITDA margins vs. the same period last year. We also efficiently executed nearly half of our $50 million share repurchase authorization and bought back $50 million of bonds at a discount, while simultaneously reducing net leverage to 3.8x, the lowest it’s been in more than a decade. With a robust political spending season anticipated, we are on trend toward achieving our net leverage target of less than 3.5 times and EBITDA at the low end of our 2022 guidance range.”

Conservative Media Figures Gather at CPAC 2022. Pictured above (from l-r) are WMAL-FM, Washington, DC morning drive personality Larry O’Connor, Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup, and author and TOWNHALL.com contributor Kurt Schlichter in Dallas for the first day of CPAC 2022. The annual event runs through Sunday and speakers scheduled to address the gathering include: former President Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, British conservative leader Nigel Farage, and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale Talk Host Rich Stevens Passes. TALKERS magazine has learned that former WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk host Rich Stevens died on July 30 at the age of 68 after suffering a heart attack. Stevens worked in music radio prior to hosting his talk show on WFTL, serving at such signals as WPLJ-FM, New York and WJHM, Orlando. He also served at WABC-TV, New York as an entertainment reporter.

TALKERS News Notes. As part of RAB’s Radio Works initiative, the next live presentation in the series titled, “Radio Works for Restaurants,” takes place on Wednesday, August 17 at 1:00 pm ET and will provide industry insights and trends intended to help broadcasters gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the restaurant industry and how radio can continue to serve this category. Since the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants have endured closures, staffing shortages, product supply strains and inflationary pressures making for a challenging business environment. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president, research & knowledge group at the National Restaurant Association, will provide an update on the “State of the Restaurant Industry” to help radio sellers understand the areas where businesses in this category need support. It’s free for RAB members and they can register here…..ESPN and Omaha Productions are expanding their relationship in the audio space with the premiere of a new show, “Kyle Brandt’s Basement,” led by NFL Network “Good Morning Football” host Kyle Brandt. The daily show debuts August 8 and “explores the ins and outs of the NFL through lively guest interviews with the top voices in the sport and inventive segments unique to Brandt to bring fans closer to the action on and off the field.” Brandt comments, “I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day. It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”…..Pictured at left is WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee “101.7 The Truth” talk host Tory Lowe during last weekend’s 7th Annual Stop the Violence Peace Walk during which he walked from Milwaukee to Chicago (more than 80 miles) to “raise awareness and bring an end to violence in our communities.” Lowe says, “It is important for us to build a bridge between Milwaukee and Chicago, open the lines of communication, and bring awareness to the violence that plagues our communities.”

Kansas Abortion Vote, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Pelosi Taiwan Visit, January 6 Investigation, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, COVID-19, and U.S. Rep. Walorski Killed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. Kansas voters elect to keep abortion rights in the state’s constitution; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s angry response; the January 6 investigation and the DOJ subpoenas issued to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy counsel Patrick Philbin; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the impact on the global economy; the falling price of gasoline and the still-high cost of food in the U.S. and concerns about a recession; the rate of BA.5 subvariant cases in the U.S.; and U.S. Rep Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and two staffers are killed in a car accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

| August 3, 2022

Testimony in Damages Phase of Alex Jones Sandy Hook Case in Texas Wraps. Plaintiffs in the Texas suit against InfoWars chief Alex Jones had won their defamation case and yesterday testimony in the damages phase of the trial wrapped up. They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages of $150 million for Jones’ false claims that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a staged event and their children were “crisis actors.” Plaintiffs testified that they have been threatened and harassed for years by Jones’ followers. The case, reported here by CNN, is being complicated by Jones’ attempt to file for bankruptcy for his Free Speech Systems (parent of InfoWars) which plaintiff attorneys claim is an attempt to hide his money from the courts. Plaintiff attorneys also say that Jones has drawn $62 million in assets from Free Speech Systems over the past two years in an attempt to hide assets from the courts. Jones was also found liable for damages in a Connecticut court and jury selection for the damages phase of that trial began yesterday.

Wayne Allyn Root Expands Television Presence. Las Vegas-based talk host Wayne Allyn Root, host of the “Wayne Allyn Root: Raw & Unfiltered” program syndicated by USA Radio, announces he’s launching a new, daily video program on the Mike Lindell TV platform. The program is to broadcast at 7:00 pm ET and is tentatively set to start on August 15. Root also promises another new show – a video and audio podcast – to be announced in the near future. He comments, “Why is my brand exploding? The American people have woken up. They want real news and raw truth. I hold nothing back. I just give my opinions and tell raw truth. I don’t sugar coat it or worry about who I offend. Truth is truth. That’s the only way we’re going to save the greatest nation in world history, ever blessed by God. With truth, action and courage.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Newsmax-syndicated “Rob Carson Show” adds new affiliates as WJFN-AM, Norfolk, Virginia (part of the John Fredericks Radio Network) puts the program in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Also, Lotus Communications KVI, Seattle adds “The Rob Carson Show Weekend” program to its Sunday schedule. Newsmax launched the program into syndication 10 months ago and it is now heard in 19 markets across the country…..Milwaukee talk radio host Dr. Ken Harris is of three radio personalities among the numerous journalists and broadcasters who will serve as a members of the broadcast team for the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s debates for the state’s gubernatorial and senate races. The organization has been producing the debates for the past 32 years. Dr. Harris is the afternoon host at Good Karma Brands’ talk WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee. Also on the team is Brad Williams, anchor/reporter at Mid-West Family’s news/talk WIZM-AM, La Crosse and Jonathan Krause, director of multimedia journalism at Woodward Radio Group in Appleton.

INTERESTING – A Talk Radio Listener Wrote to TALKERS on Facebook: “Can I give your industry a clue? Lots of people still listen to the radio every day at work. You think because nobody calls the station anymore that you have no listeners. Businesses nowadays have all their employees under video surveillance and if they see you on the phone you are subject to disciplinary action. We still hear you, but we can no longer interact with you.”

RIP Vin Scully. In recognizing the passing of the legendary Dodgers play-by-play man, consultant Holland Cooke writes: “He was the voice of the Dodgers, from Jackie Robinson to Clayton Kershaw. Though LA listeners knew him best, fans everywhere remember his historic World Series calls. 1988 Game 1 was one for the ages. Working solo for decades as two- or three-voice broadcast teams became the norm, Vin Scully sounded like he was watching the game sitting next to you. The Athletic called him ‘the solitary voice emanating over the airwaves. He was renowned for his spellbinding monologues, his folksy wisdom and his sense of the moment — some of Scully’s most famous calls revolved around silence, his usage of the crowd to tell a story that words could not justify.’”

Public Radio Syndication Pioneer Larry Josephson Dies at 83. The Washington Post has the obituary here for longtime public radio personality, producer and syndicator Larry Josephson, who passed away on July 27 at age 83. A computer engineer by trade, he joined the volunteer staff at fledgling public radio outlet WBAI, New York in the mid-1960s. He quickly transitioned to the morning drive host. As the Post notes, Josephson “went on to create five decades of public radio programs, reviving the popular and influential “Bob & Ray” comedy team for a new generation of fans, hosting a nationally syndicated series of discussions between conservative thinkers and an argumentative but charming liberal (himself), and producing marathon readings of James Joyce’s Ulysses and a documentary history of the Jews.” He built a radio studio in a bedroom of his Upper West Side apartment from which he would produce his own shows and a number of other public radio programs.

Pelosi Taiwan Visit, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Abortion Laws, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, and Vin Scully Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/2). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s reaction; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation over the nominees for president in the 2024 race; the abortion laws being enacted in various states in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade; the high price of gasoline and food and the ManchinSchumer authored Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the global economic impact; and legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.