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Thursday, January 27, 2022

| January 27, 2022

Newsweek Opinion Editor Josh Hammer is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The opinion editor of Newsweek, Josh Hammer, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Hammer is also a podcaster, constitutional lawyer, and rising young conservative thought-leader. Newsweek is planning the launch of his new podcast, “The Josh Hammer Show” in February. The one-hour podcast will conform to the format clock of a terrestrial radio show making it conveniently translatable as a syndicated product. Harrison describes Hammer as follows: “At 32 years of age, he has already made a huge splash within the print news community as an editor and political commentator reflective of a young conservative perspective. I suspect he will be doing the same in talk media via radio and podcasting.” Harrison continues, “With such an emphasis being placed on lowering the demos, talk media practitioners – especially conservatives – should hear what he has to say.” Hammer focuses on conservative intellectual trends, contemporary domestic and foreign policy debates, constitutional and legal issues, and the intersection of law, politics and culture. His pieces have appeared in a number of major publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and many others. Harrison and Hammer take a deep-dive into the future of print versus digital, the legal complications of updating Section 230 and holding Big Tech accountable for the control they have seized over the public square, as well as the schism between traditional conservative politics and a viable next-gen approach. They discuss the impact and future of Donald Trump within the GOP and Newsweek’s strategy to appeal to a readership that spans the political spectrum. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Dan Bongino Booted from YouTube; Focuses His Content on Rumble. After violating the terms of his weeklong suspension from YouTube, Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Dan Bongino has been permanently banned from the social media video channel. Bongino shared a video on his website in which he says that he was suspended for saying nothing different than what Dr. Tony Fauci told “60 Minutes” in a March 2020 interview in which he said there’s no need for people to be walking around wearing masks because it’s not providing the protection that people think it is. Bongino questions why he’s being banned but Fauci is not. Bongino’s violation of the suspension came after he tried to post a video explaining to his fans why he’s leaving YouTube and will put all of his content on Rumble. Bongino says he had 871,000 YouTube subscribers and says he has more than 2 million subscribers on the Rumble channel.

Former Florida Sports Talk Host ‘Big Joe’ Ellicott to Cooperate with Feds’ Investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz. According to a report by CNN, Joseph “Big Joe” Ellicott has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and distribution of a controlled substance (Adderall) and has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into allegations that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) had sexual contact with a minor. Ellicott previously worked for Star Over Orlando at sports talk WRSO “CBS Sports Radio Orlando” on the “Bauman and Big Joe” program. CNN reports that Ellicott pleaded guilty to the charges that stemmed from “a bribery scheme between an unnamed contractor and an unnamed elected government official. Ellicott delivered $6,000 cash from the contractor to the government official in 2017.” Other media sources are concluding that the unnamed elected government official is his friend Joel Greenberg, a former confidant of Gaetz’s who is also cooperating with investigators in the Gaetz case.

Round Two of Holiday 2021 PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2021 sweep covered December 9 – January 5. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Although the Holiday PPM survey usually reveals listening patterns skewed by stations breaking format to air Christmas music, some spoken-word stations were able to avoid ratings declines. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle was steady with a 6.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that kept it in the #2 rank. Lotus Communications’ crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM rose two-tenths for a 5.5 share finish and climbed to the #3 rank. Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis was up seven-tenths for a 5.2 share finish good for the #6 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver added nine-tenths to wrap the survey with a 3.8 share and climbed to the #8 rank. You can see all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeways from this group of markets (as well as round one) here.

Religious Broadcasters Hope Media Group and WAY Media to Merge. Religious broadcasting companies Hope Media Group and WAY Media announce their intention to merge into one media organization. The formal merger is expected to close by later this year pending FCC approval. The new Christian media organization will be headquartered in Houston and will operate under the name Hope Media Group. Hope Media Group was founded 40 years ago with radio station KSBJ-FM, Houston. WAY Media was formed 35 years ago with WAYJ-FM, Fort Myers. The companies say this is a merger of equals and a cash-free transaction that received a unanimous vote from both boards of directors. Currently, Hope Media Group is a family of media brands that include Houston-focused KSBJ, the brand-new Spanish Christian “Vida Unida,” digital content outlets NGEN Radio (Christian hip-hop and pop), Hope On Demand and Amen: The Prayer App, plus a concert and event brand, Special Events. WAY Media owns and operates a national network of more than 20 “WayFM” stations in markets that include Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Portland, Nashville, and South Florida plus more than 30 translators from Florida to Washington State, in addition to digital content outlets.

TALKERS News Notes. Streaming audio service TuneIn announces a partnership with Estrella Media to bring its content to the TuneIn platform. In addition, TuneIn has partnered with Grupo Fórmula to bring its Spanish-language entertainment and news content to the platform. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern states, “Both Estrella Media and Grupo Fórmula are market leaders in Spanish-language entertainment and news radio content. We are extremely pleased to be expanding our Spanish-language offerings to a new generation of Latin radio fans and listeners around the world through the TuneIn platform. We’re also thrilled to help Estrella Media’s local stations increase monetization outside of their local markets as an added benefit of our partnership.”…..The Luminary original podcast, “The Roxane Gay Agenda,” launches with writer Dr. Roxane Gay as host and welcoming The New York Times writer Tressie McMillan Cottom and acclaimed author Terry McMillan as her first guests. The program is produced in partnership with iHeartMedia.

Stephen Breyer to Retire, Ukraine Tensions, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Financial Markets/Inflation/Crypto Plunge, Urban Violent Crime Spike, and the Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement and President Joe Biden’s possible nominations; the ongoing tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West over Russia’s military build-up at the Ukraine border; the Omicron variant infection rate and legal battles over mask & vaccine mandates; fight to control Congress in this November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the turbulent financial markets, the high retail and oil prices and the plummet in cryptocurrency value; the blowback against liberal law & order polices as violent crime in America’s major cities surges; and the Beijing Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, February 19, 2021

| February 19, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, 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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Forks and Bumps,” looks back at this past week of February 15-19, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Brett Winterble, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioHowie Carr, talk show host, WRKO, Boston / Howie Carr Radio NetworkDave Congalton, talk show host, KVEC, San Luis Obispo, CA; and Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, talk show host, the Joe Pags Show. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Delmarva; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Wisconsin Radio Host Len Nelson Suspended for Limbaugh Post. Rock WAPL-FM, Appleton, Wisconsin morning personality Len Nelson has been suspended indefinitely by station owner Woodward Communications for a now-deleted message he posted to his personal Facebook page that was critical of Rush Limbaugh. Nelson’s missive blamed Limbaugh for causing “damage to public discourse in America” and charged that his radio program was “steeped in bigotry, misogyny, hypocrisy, lies and malice.” He closed the post saying, “I will not celebrate his death, but I will not feel sorry for it, either. The world is a better place without Rush Limbaugh in it.” Woodward Communications posted the following to the WAPL website: “Recently we were made aware of a social media post placed on a personal Facebook page by one of our employees, Len Nelson. His personal views are not reflective of the core values of WAPL nor of Woodward Radio Group. We are deeply committed to being good people. We appreciate our listeners, sponsors and advertisers and want to assure each one of you this matter is being addressed swiftly. Thank you for reaching out to us with your concerns, we are listening.” Nelson posted an apology to his Facebook page in which he acknowledges he may ultimately be fired as a result of his actions. He also says he regrets not taking the time to consider how his actions may have affected others.

Rush Limbaugh’s Voice to Be Heard on Radio for the Long Term. According to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, “Our plan is to provide the millions of loyal listeners with the voice of Rush Limbaugh for the long term. No one can replace Rush Limbaugh. We will have a variety of hosts that will guide the audio of Rush for all of the important issues of the day, including recent guest hosts Mark Steyn, Todd Herman, and Ken Matthews. With over 30 years of audio, Rush has a definite view on all of these issues. Every single element of Rush Limbaugh-branded assets will continue, including his daily show and podcast, daily update, weekend ‘best of’ three-hour show and digital/printed offerings.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is reporting that WFAN, New York afternoon drive co-host Craig Carton is talking with the MLB Network about hosting a daily, morning TV show. Marchand says MLB Network declined to comment about the story…..The NAB announces new appointments to its NAB Television Board of Directors and its NAB Radio Board of Directors. On the TV side, RaMona Alexander, vice president and general manager of WDBD-TV, Jackson, Mississippi and Cox Media Group president and CEO Dan York join. On the radio side, Cox Media Group SVP and head of radio Rob Babin becomes a board member…..iHeartMedia announces the launch of “Calm Down with Erin and Charissa,” a talk show-style podcast hosted by sportscasters and longtime friends Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson. The podcast features Andrews and Thompson discussing their lives and careers and “pulls back the curtain on the lives of two successful women at the top of their field.”…..Cadence13 unveils the first three audio movies under its new scripted studio, C13Features, that is “focused on creating and owning compelling fictionalized feature-length audio stories of all genres that appeal to a wide audience.” Cadence13, part of Entercom, says that while the podcast space has traditionally used the serialized multi-episode approach, C13Features aims to tighten the storytelling experience with compelling and dramatic creative arcs, and not force listeners to have to wait for more episodes to find out what happens next. C13Features aspires to give listeners gripping stories with a beginning, a middle and an end, all in one feature-length 90-minute episode, for listeners to experience however and whenever they’d like.” It has three audio movies lined up for release this year…..Podcast producer Ramble, a division of Cadence13, is launching Marc & Heidi: The Other D’Amelios, a new weekly podcast hosted by Marc and Heidi D’Amelio, entrepreneurs and parents of worldwide social media phenoms Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. Known as “the first family of TikTok,” Marc and Heidi D’Amelio have a combined social media following of nearly twenty-three million followers. They are the parents of Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, the Gen-Z content creators who quickly evolved into a worldwide social media phenomenon with a combined social following of nearly 300 million followers.

#LovePup Working with Grocery Stores to Promote Animal Welfare. The animal welfare charity #LovePup founded by syndicated radio personality Johnjay Van Es (pictured here with his wife Blake) and his family is working with the Safeway and Albertsons grocery chains (operating in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah) to help save homeless animals in their communities. People visiting Safeway or Albertsons stores this month can donate at the PIN pad to benefit several animal welfare organizations in Arizona, Las Vegas and Las Cruces with the goal of raising $1 million. #LovePup says that homeless dogs and cats are a huge problem in the Southwest with more than 50,000 animals entering shelters every year. Those shelter organizations need funds to help with medical care, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and microchipping.

Former KMOX, St. Louis Personality Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Possession. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that former KMOX, St. Louis personality Harry Hamm has pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child porn and one count of access with intent to view child porn. Hamm was a longtime entertainment editor for KMOX, most recently appearing on the station’s “Total Information AM Weekend Edition” reporting on theater openings and movies. He was fired from the station after his arrest. The 79-year old Hamm is also being charged with felony charges of second-degree statutory sodomy, incest and possession of child pornography, to which he’s pleaded not guilty. Sentencing on the guilty plea has been delayed for two months.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 15-19. The declining number of positive COVID cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the related power struggle in the Republican Party, the investigation into the Capitol insurrection, and the aftermath of the Donald Trump impeachment. Following at #3 was the death of talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh at age 70. The Talkers TenTM 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.