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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

| June 28, 2022

New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted: Today, TALKERS magazine posts the latest in an ongoing series of video presentations from the TALKERS 2022 convention held on June 10 at Hofstra University on Long Island. Today’s video addition features the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio in the Digital Era” moderated by Mike McVay, president, McVay Media Consulting.  Panelists include Dr. Asa Andrew, CEO/host, The Doctor Asa Health Network (“Believe”); Grace Blazer, VP, national NTS brand coordinator, director of news and AM programming Florida region, iHeartMedia Miami; Phil Boyce, SVP/spoken word format, Salem Media GroupSalem Radio Network/operations VP, New York Region; Kevin DeLany, VP, news & talk programming, Westwood One; and Greg Stocker, program director, WPHT, Philadelphia.  The introduction was provided by Steve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media. You can watch the video here.

iHM Jacksonville Boosts Lawrence To Senior VP/Sales. Two-and-a-half-year iHeartMedia Jacksonville vice president/sales Stacey Lawrence advances to senior vice president/sales of that Florida cluster. Lawrence will report to iHeartMedia North Florida area president Paul Rogers, who comments, “When I joined the market [in March 2021], I took a long time to evaluate our team, including our management team. I wanted to learn their values, their work ethic, and observe their commitment to our team, our customers, and to iHeart. Stacey flat-out earned it, and her strong working relationship with vice president/digital sales Brooke Adams is going to be crucial and what takes us over the top.” Lawrence remarks, “I’m thrilled to step into my new role with this incredible team in Jacksonville. Although I’ve been with iHeartMedia less than three years, it did not take me long to realize this was where I belonged. [It’s] a forward-thinking company that is customer-centric at its core. Jacksonville is exploding and I plan on leading this team to their fullest potential. I look forward to making a difference in our community and helping businesses achieve their marketing goals through our world- class, multi-channel offerings.” Lawrence spent 14 years with Hibu (formerly YellowBook USA). She later held sales management positions for two Jacksonville TV stations, including Graham Media Group’s  WJXT-TV. Among the stations in iHM Jacksonville is Spanish news/talk WFXJ “Acción 97.3.”

Moore Becomes MAB’s Main Man. Most recently the vice president of programming for iHeartMedia New Hampshire, Tim Moore is named president/chief executive officer of the Maine Association of Broadcasters. Moore succeeds Suzanne Goucher, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. MAB board chair/WMTW-TV, Portland president/general manager David Abel states, “The Board was looking for someone with deep experience in Maine broadcasting and extensive relationships throughout the state; Tim stood out among some very qualified candidates. There is much to be done to position the MAB for the future and we are excited to have Tim lead that effort.” According to Moore, “I’ve loved the MAB for years and believe in the mission to advocate for broadcasters on every level. My thanks to David Abel; incoming chair Corey Garrison; and the entire board of directors for placing their faith and trust in me. I’m beyond excited to lead the MAB into the future and cannot wait to get started.” Moore began his Maine radio career in Bangor at WKSQ. He later went to Portland as operations manager of WHOM and WJBQ. A former MAB board chair, Moore is a member of the MAB Hall of Fame and was awarded the inaugural (2010) “Broadcast Achievement Award.” The Maine Association of Broadcasters was formed in 1947 to “cultivate a friendly spirit of cooperation in matters of common interest” to radio and television stations throughout the “Pine Tree State.”

Wexler Wins NFPW’s Top Spot For Best Radio Interview. Just hours after Jim Himes spent a marathon day and night at the U.S. Capitol following the January 6 (2021) riot, Connoisseur Media Bridgeport news/talk WICC’s Lisa Wexler interviewed the Connecticut congressman live on her 10:00 am – 12:00 noon show. That January 7 interview enabled Wexler to win first-place for “Best Radio Interview” in the National Federation of Press Women’s Awards. Wexler comments, “Interviewing congressman Jim Himes after he experienced all that transpired on January 6 felt like history in the making. I urge all to listen to it now, with the benefit of hindsight.” Connoisseur Media senior vice president Kristin Okesson remarks, “The role of radio is as vital as it’s ever been, and Lisa Wexler is a fantastic example of what makes the medium so critical right now. Lisa has developed a deep connection to her audience through her no-nonsense interview style and down-to-earth storytelling. Through these stormy past few years, Lisa was there to help guide her listeners through. She remains a reassuring voice during an uncomfortable time in our nation and the world. Connecticut and WICC are lucky to have Lisa Wexler behind the microphone.” NFPW is a nationwide organization of women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum, including radio, television print, electronic journalism, freelancing, new media, books, public relations, marketing, graphic design, photography, and advertising. Winners from throughout the country were honored this past Saturday (6/25) during the National Federation of Press Women communications contest ceremony in Fargo, North Dakota. Nearly 2,000 entries were judged in a wide variety of categories. Only first-place winning entries at the state level are eligible to enter the national contest. All entries were published or broadcast between January 1 – December 31 (2021). “The Lisa Wexler Show” took first place for the Jim Himes interview at the Connecticut Press Awards.

“Share Of Ear” Q1 2022 Findings. Among this week’s Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group blog highlights is that among registered voters, terrestrial radio has a 75% share of ad-supported audio. Meanwhile, AM/FM radio’s audience is 13 times bigger than Pandora and 19 times that of Spotify. Trending ad-supported audience shares from Q1 2020 to Q1 2022, terrestrial radio sees little change (78% to 76%). As podcast shares bump up from 7% to 11%, Pandora’s shares are down 25% (8% to 6%). Also in single-digits are Spotify (4%) and SiriusXM (3%). Terrestrial radio leads total ad-supported shares among key buying demographics; podcast shares are greater than Spotify and Pandora combined. In the car, AM/FM radio shares have been in the high-80s the last six years. Most Americans only listen to terrestrial radio and never listen to Pandora and Spotify. Over six years, the proportion of terrestrial radio listening occurring through online streaming has nearly doubled (8% to 15%). More radio listening is occurring via stream (15%) than the entire AM dial. With a 43% share, terrestrial radio leads ad-supported listening on the smart speaker. Edison Research’s quarterly “Share of Ear” study surveys 4,000 Americans to measure daily reach and time spent for all forms of audio.

TALKERS News Notes. The first-ever “Black Effect Podcast Festival” is set to take place August 28 at the Avant Gardner in Brooklyn. Premiere Networks’ “Breakfast Club” co-host Charlamagne Tha God will join the festival, along with some of the Black Effect Podcast Network’s most popular personalities for a day of live podcast tapings and discussions aimed at aspiring podcasters in the black community. According to Charlamagne Tha God, “The Black Effect Podcast Network was created to amplify black voices for new and established content creators and storytellers, giving them a space to showcase their creative vision in the ever-growing podcast game. I’m excited to celebrate the first-ever Black Effect Podcast Festival, where talented black creators and aspiring podcasters will come together for a day to uplift and inspire one another. This festival is for the culture and is one of many events the network will host for the black community.” Launched in September 2020 and curated by Charlamagne Tha God, the Black Effect Podcast Network has debuted 32 shows. Black Effect Podcast Network partners include AT&T, BetterHelp, Hulu, Molson Coors, Nissan and State Farm … Former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is coming back to the organization to be part of this year’s radio broadcasts on iHeartMedia Charlotte. A first-round pick by the Panthers in 2012, Kuechly will be in the booth for six home games and the road trip to his hometown of Cincinnati. He comments, “I just love the Panthers. I want to be attached to the team and the game. I think it could be a lot of fun.” Kuechly played eight seasons in Carolina and retired following the 2019 season. Other members of the Panthers radio team are Anish Shroff; Jordan Gross; Jake Delhomme; Kristen Balboni; and Jim Szoke … Among the three specials ABC Audio will provide to affiliates this July 4th weekend is ABC News Radio’s three-hour Jason Nathanson-hosted “Press Play.” Nathanson and ABC News correspondents venture across the country thrill-seeking and learning new skills.

Podtrac Releases Weekly Podcast Data. Downloads for Podtrac-measured shows (June 20 – 26) are up 1% over the previous week and gain 70% versus the corresponding period last year. Whereas “Health & Fitness” displays the strongest week-over-week growth (+9%), “Comedy” registers the weakest week-to-week loss (-4%). The category with the strongest  year-over-year improvement is “Health & Fitness,” climbing 183%. Across all Podtrac-measured podcasts, download growth for the 52-week period (June 21, 2021 – June 26, 2022) was up 70%, while week-over-week (June 20 – 26, 2022) download advancement  was up 1%. Year-to-year download growth was +183% for “Health & Fitness”; +116%, “Comedy”; +87%, “True Crime”; +83%, “Sports”; +64%, “News”; +62%, “Business”; +60%, “Society & Culture”; +47%, “Science”; +44%, “History”; and  +12% for “Arts.” Download week-over-week gains are made by “Health & Fitness” (+9%); “Arts” (+3%); “News” (+3%); “Society & Culture” (+3%); and “Sports” (+2%). “History” remains even, while “Comedy” is -4%; “Science” and “True Crime” are both -3%; and “Business” is -2%.

Monday Memo: Your Egg-Timer?

| March 14, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Baseball stations: Exhale. WE HAVE A DEAL. As you read this, Spring Training is underway, and Opening Day is April 7.

We need it. Pandemic-weary and weathering climate change, we’ve been tested. Now, the Ukraine crisis breaks our hearts and inflation busts family budgets. And one of baseball’s best showed me a simple trick that suggests how radio can matter more to listeners in these challenging times.

Read More

Monday, February 28, 2022

| February 28, 2022

Monday Memo: Read Me, Please! “Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing email conversation you have with listeners.” Consultant Holland Cooke calls it “a relationship that Pandora and Spotify and your robotic AM/FM competitors can’t emulate.” In this week’s column, HC shares tips for the most important words of your email: its subject line. Read about it here.

 

Pending Business: Sell Carefully. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says the war in the Ukraine has the potential to bring more information and opinion-hungry listeners to your news/talk station and provides a sales opportunity. “The loyal audience base your station has worked hard to develop will lock in regularly for information updates and the clarity your air talent can bring to a complex and intimidating situation that could affect everything from the price of gas at the local pump to a roller coaster ride in their stock portfolio.” He offers six tips for selling during this historic news storm. Read more here.

 

KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco Promotes Adam Copeland to Afternoons. Sports talk radio pro Adam Copeland is promoted to co-host of the afternoon drive with longtime host Tom Tolbert on Cumulus Media’s KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco. This comes after Cumulus parts ways with Tolbert’s former co-hosts Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks. Tolbert tweeted last week about their departure, saying, “Rod and Larry are no longer on the show. It sucks. I’m always saddened when something doesn’t work. I love both of those guys. I consider them friends. I can’t tell you why some things work and some don’t work. It’s a bummer. It stinks.” The new “Tolbert and Copes” show airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Copeland joined KNBR as an intern in 2009 and was hired in 2016 as a board operator. He eventually became the producer of “KNBR Tonight with Ryan Covay.” In 2018, after time as a fill-in host on the station, Copeland was named host of his own talk show, “The Lead Off Spot with Adam Copeland,” airing weekday mornings from 5:00 am-6:00 am. He also served as a producer of the “Murph and Mac” morning program.  Copeland says, “Having the opportunity to host ‘The Leadoff Spot’ and hang with Murph and Mac for the past four years has been a dream come true since I was 16 years old, and I’m forever indebted to all the loyal listeners, callers, and guests who made the show as fun and engaging as it was. It’s been the honor of my life. I look forward to bringing that same energy and enthusiasm to afternoon drive with the legendary Tom Tolbert. I know I have big shoes to fill, and I hope to make my fellow Bay Area sports fans proud. Onward and upward.”

 

Round Four of January PPM Survey Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s January 2022 sweep covered January 6 – February 2. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In the Raleigh market, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM jumps 1.1 shares for a 7.4 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish and the #3 rank in the market, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF tacks on nine-tenths for a 3.3 share finish good for the #11 rank. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis recaptures 1.8 shares to wrap the survey with a 10.6 share and climbs to the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN-AM leaps to #1 after adding nine-tenths for a 9.7 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ-AM rises half a share for a 7.2 share finish good for the #4 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville tacks on eight-tenths to put up a 6.9 share that gives it the #2 rank in the market. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville is back at #1 after shooting up 2.6 shares for a 9.6 share finish. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

 

Nielsen Holdings Reports 2021 Q4 Revenue Up 2.5%; Full Year Revenue Rises 4.1%. Ratings giant Nielsen Holdings plc reports its financial data from the fourth quarter of 2021 and for the full year, revealing Q4 revenue was $894 million, an increase of 2.5% over the same period in 2020. Revenue of the whole of 2021 was $3.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of 4.1%. For the full year of 2021, Nielsen reports net income from continuing operations attributable to Nielsen shareholders was $551 million, compared to $191 million in 2020. Nielsen CEO David Kenny says, “We delivered strong results in 2021. We successfully sold Nielsen Global Connect, hit significant product milestones, and exceeded all of our original 2021 guidance metrics despite facing some unanticipated challenges. We are strongly positioned within the media ecosystem, with growing relevance as audiences shift to streaming, and we are delivering value to clients across our three essential solutions. We made measurable progress toward becoming a digital-first company, and our strategy aligns with where growth in the industry is coming from. We are piloting the first iteration of Nielsen ONE, which we launched in January, with a representative group of clients across media buyers and sellers and feedback has been positive. We also made progress on strengthening our balance sheet, reducing our net debt leverage by over half a turn in 2021. We now have the flexibility to return more capital to shareholders while continuing to invest in organic growth initiatives and pursue strategic, tuck-in M&A. Our $1 billion share repurchase authorization reflects our board’s confidence in both our short and long-term growth prospects and enables us to deliver value to our shareholders.” The company reports its financial position, stating, “As of December 31, 2021, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $380 million and gross debt of $5.626 billion, resulting in net debt of $5.246 billion.”

 

Russian Ukraine Invasion, COVID-19, The Economy/Financial Markets, CPAC 2022/Trump & the GOP, William Barr Book, State of the Union, and SAG Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the domestic and global responses to Vladimir Putin’s gambit; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the relaxation of mask mandates, and the U.S. trucker convoys destined for Washington, DC; the state of the U.S. economy as the Ukraine invasion affects global markets, the ongoing inflation affecting consumer retail prices, and the financial markets activities; the weekend’s CPAC 2022 conference and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; former Attorney General William Barr’s new memoir containing criticism of Donald Trump is teased; anticipation of Tuesday’s State of the Union Address; and Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild 2022 awards ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Read Me, Please!

| February 28, 2022

 

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — You DO regularly communicate with an opt-in email list…right? Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing conversation you have with listeners. It’s a relationship that Pandora and Spotify and your robotic AM/FM competitors can’t emulate.

Any email you send is worthless if it doesn’t get read  

And you yourself demonstrate why, every time you open your in-box. True or false: You delete some (lots) of messages unread, simply based on the subject line?

Read More

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

| February 2, 2022

Lotus Communications’ Seattle All-News Officially Announces New Calls and Slogan. Last Friday (1/28), TALKERS magazine reported the changes included in a Seattle Times piece about the former KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle. Now, Lotus Communications makes it official. The all-news outlet takes on the new call letters KNWN-AM/FM and adopts the slogan “Northwest Newsradio.” The company says that the change was a condition of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s sale of the station – and sister AC KPLZ-FM “STAR 101.5” and talk KVI-AM – to Lotus. Sinclair continues to own and operate KOMO-TV. Lotus says, “Our commitment as the market’s leader in local and global news will not change. The same voices and outstanding news coverage that the Northwest has depended on will remain, as well as the station’s news and weather content sharing partnership with KOMO television.” Station general manager Gary Greenberg adds, “We honor the 95-year history of KOMO radio and its importance to our region. Lotus is fully committed to growing KNWN as the Northwest’s news and information leader by further engaging our community, advertisers and listeners.”

FOX News Channel Marks 20 Years as Top Cable News Channel. Citing data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Media says that its FOX News Channel “has accomplished another historic feat, marking its 20th consecutive year as the number one cable news network in total day and primetime. Since January 2002, FNC has remained the most-watched cable news network across both dayparts with total viewers and in the 25-54 demographic. FNC continued its ratings dominance for the month of January and was the only cable news network to show year-over-year growth in total day viewers, while MSNBC and CNN are experiencing massive declines, both shedding nearly three quarters of their audience.” FOX says that FNC continued to grow its audience share, occupying more than half the audience in total day viewers (55%) and the 25-54 demo (56%) and in primetime across both categories (56% P2+ and 56% A25-54). FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott comments, “I am immensely proud of this landmark achievement as it is a testament to the dedicated teams across FOX News Channel, who are the backbone in making us number one for 20 consecutive years with the most loyal and politically diverse audience in cable news.”

SiriusXM Reports Q 2021 Net Revenue Up 4%. Reporting its fourth quarter and full-year 2021 financial results, SiriusXM says its Q4 revenue was $2.28 billion – an increase of 4% over the same period in 2020 – and its full-year revenue was $8.7 billion – up 8% over all of 2020. Net income for the fourth quarter was $318 million, compared to Q4 2020’s net loss of $677 million. Net income for the full-year of 2021 was $1.31 billion compared to 2020’s net income of $131 million. (The fourth quarter and full year 2020 was impacted by a $976 million non-cash impairment charge associated with Pandora.) SirtiusXM CEO Jennifer Witz says, “2021 was an outstanding year across the board. We added more than one million net new SiriusXM self-pay subscribers for the 10th time in the past 11 years; this growth continues to be sustained by a fifth straight year of improving churn. Once again, we outperformed all of 2021’s public guidance, and now our strong financial position enables us to declare a special cash dividend to our stockholders. Our performance last year is a testament to our strong execution – and staying true to our vision of connecting listeners to the content they love. We collaborated with renowned and emerging creators across our platforms to deliver curated premium content both in- and out-of-car; and delivered value to our advertisers with effective solutions to reach a massive audience of more than 150 million listeners.” The company reports data for two segments – the SiriusXM segment and the Pandora segment that includes podcast platform Stitcher. SiriusXM says that in 2021, Stitcher and the company’s off-platform advertising businesses contributed $348 million of revenue, representing nearly 23% of the Pandora segment’s total revenue. Off-platform revenue, excluding Stitcher, increased approximately $60 million or 36% compared to 2020.

Good Karma Brands and WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee Giving Officer Shot in Line of Duty Trip to Super Bowl XVI. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ-AM and parent company Good Karma Brands are sending Milwaukee police officer Herbert Davis III, a Cincinnati Bengals fan who was shot multiple times while on duty on January 27, to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Davis was doing a welfare check on a person reportedly slumped over in their car. That person got into a struggle with Davis and shot him before stealing his cruiser and driving away. Davis says he’s taking his father with him to the game since his father instilled his love for the Bengals in him. WTMJ vice president Steve Wexler said on the WTMJ afternoon program, “It’s just a token of our appreciation for your service, your commitment, and your inspiration that you’ve brought to all of us.” Good Karma is giving Davis two tickets to the game, airfare to LA, a hotel room and several thousand dollars in spending money.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WGN-AM late night talk host Nick Digilio launches a new podcast called “The Nick D Podcast” on the Radio Misfits Podcast Network. Digilio tells Rick Kaempfer of Illinois Entertainer, “The podcast will be a lot like the WGN show. Tons of guests that were regulars on my show on WGN, and we cover the world of pop culture. We’ll do all the regular features that we did on the show. I’ll do movie reviews. And I get to swear a little. If you were a fan of the radio show, you’ll like this podcast.”…..Comic Byron Kennedy launches the podcast, “Hot Chicken & Cage-Free Conversation,” the first three episodes of which feature country artists Jimmie Allen, Brett Eldredge, and Lainey Wilson. The podcast is a production of Benztown and McVay Media Podcast Networks and is billed as a “wildly unscripted podcast that will feature special guests ranging from musical artists to industry power players, professional athletes, actors, fellow comedians and more.”…..FOX Sports Radio says it will begin its 22nd annual Super Week coverage on Monday (2/7). Twenty-three hours a day of FSR’s weekday lineup will originate from Los Angeles, including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”; “The Dan Patrick Show”; “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn and Jonas Knox”; “The Doug Gottlieb Show”; “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker”; “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon”; and “The Ben Maller Show.” The network will also present a special live, remote broadcast from Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica on Saturday (2/12) featuring “Up On Game with LaVar Arrington, TJ Houshmandzadeh and Plaxico Burress”; “The Joy Taylor Show”; and “Steve Hartman & Geoff Schwartz.”

January 6 Investigation, COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Deadly Violence Against Cops, Beijing Olympics, Spotify Case, and Whoopi Goldberg Suspended Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1). The House Select Committee’s investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and Donald Trump’s statement he may pardon those convicted if elected; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, mandates, and school policies; the diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the battle for control over Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rash of deadly attacks on police in numerous U.S. cities; the political sideshow accompanying the Beijing Winter Olympics; Spotify’s handling of musicians pulling their music from the service over podcaster Joe Rogan’s program; and Whoopi Goldberg is suspended from ABC’s “The View” after Holocaust remarks were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.