Pending Business: SiriusXM’s Chutzpah. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says AM/FM radio needs a stronger response to attacks like the broadside leveled at it by SiriusXM last week in its “Why waste your time with AM/FM radio? campaign. “Timing is everything and as much as it hurts, the “Why waste your time?” ad was well played. AM/FM radio can’t afford to ignore a broadside attack. Playing the local, free and emergency cards is a solid first step. Every AM/FM radio listener and advertiser can use a reminder. Just like a utility, we take it for granted until it’s not there when you need it.” He offers three concepts for development that support radio’s value. Read it here.
Monday Memo: Dine with Seinfeld’s Parents. Consultant Holland Cooke continues his month-long series “Inflation Hacks, money-saving tactics for your listeners (and yourself).” In this week’s column, HC offers “escape from Ramen, and your dentist!” Read it here.
‘The Big Picture’ Panel Video from TALKERS 2020 Posted. Today (7/18), the video of the panel discussion titled, “The Big Picture,” from the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University is posted. The panel was moderated by TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (who was introduced by Dottie Herman, vice-chair, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and host of “Eye on Real Estate” heard on WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer”) Panelists included: Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, “Our American Stories”; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Josh Leng, CEO, Talk Media Network; and Chris Oliviero, president/market manager, Audacy New York. See the video here.
Salem Rises to Prominence in Conservative Media. In a profile piece published in TALKERS magazine today (7/18), executive editor Kevin Casey chronicles some of the history of Salem Media Group and highlights the company’s steadily growing prominence in the conservative media universe. At the very heart of Salem Media Group is its philosophy and mission. Co-founder and executive chairman of the board Ed Atsinger says, “Salem’s leadership enthusiastically embraces the concept of American exceptionalism – that America is unique in human history as a place where no matter your social status, your ethnicity, your religion, or your country of origin the American dream is available for the taking. Today there are ideologies conspiring to tear us apart by promoting identity politics under such euphemisms as ‘critical race theory.’ Salem is committed to do all that we can to counteract the forces that would tear us apart, and we have created a company uniquely positioned to achieve that goal. Fortunately, there are enough Americans committed to religious faith and conservative values to help us achieve that goal.” Company SVP of spoken word format Phil Boyce states, “When I joined Salem’s team in early 2012, I had no idea the company was positioned to explode onto the conservative landscape like it did. My 14 year’s experience programming WABC in New York – the most-listened-to news/talk station in the nation – had prepared me well for the explosive times we were about to enter at Salem. We’ve been in a culture war for years in this country, and Salem is able to use its assets to further the cause, doing good, while informing and entertaining our audience.” Read the entire story here.
LiveOne to Spin Off PodcastOne into Separate Company. On Friday (7/15), LiveOne revealed its intention to spin off wholly owned subsidiary PodcastOne, as a separate public company to be listed on a national exchange and its plan to dividend a portion of PodcastOne’s common equity to LiveOne’s more than 15,000 stockholders as of a future record date. LiveOne says it hopes to complete the spin-off be year’s end. Related to the anticipated spin-off, PodcastOne closed a private placement financing of convertible notes and warrants totaling approximately $8.1 million prior to offering expenses, including $3 million invested by LiveOne, whereby the terms of the financing value PodcastOne at a pre-money valuation of $60 million. LiveOne CEO Robert Ellin states, “The goal of both our management team and board of directors is to maximize stockholder value. PodcastOne has been a tremendous addition to LiveOne since our acquisition in 2020, and we feel strongly that the market value of our stock dramatically undervalues the sum of our parts, which includes our PodcastOne subsidiary. Upon the successful completion of the spin out, we believe PodcastOne will be the only major pure play podcast company trading on a national exchange.” PodcastOne president, Kit Gray comments, “The podcasting business has exploded over the past five years and PodcastOne is one of the largest independent podcast companies in the world. The company is one of only two independent podcasting publishers in the top 10 of Podtrac’s list of Top Publishers. We believe that by trading as a separate public company, PodcastOne will have the opportunity to access the public capital markets as well as be better positioned to both acquire podcast platforms and attract significant podcast talent.”
Round Four of June PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s June 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 June 2022 sweep covered May 26 – June 22. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM adds eight-tenths to finish the survey with an 8.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that lifts it to the #3 rank, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF is up two-tenths for a 1.7 share good for the #17 rank. Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee solidifies its #1 finish after adding 1.1 shares for an 11.4 share finish, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WISN sheds six-tenths for a 9.0 and falls back to the #3 rank. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville adds a full share for a 6.9 share finish but remains in the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville remains ranked #2 after dipping four-tenths for a 9.2 share finish. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.
Up on the Roof. Posing for promo shots on the roof of the Imperial Square Building (that housed the radio station) in Hempstead, Long Island during the Winter of 70-71 is the original airstaff of the legendary progressive rock station WLIR. Pictured (l-r): Richard Neer, Pete Larkin, Don K. Reed and Michael Harrison. All went on to colorful and groundbreaking careers in the media. Reed, who would serve for many years at WCBS-FM, New York, died over the weekend. His cause of death was not reported but it is believed he had been battling heart issues. You can see the memorial tribute video created by Art Vuolo here.
KXEL, Cedar Rapids Celebrates 80th Anniversary. Pictured above is Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signing the document declaring Thursday, July 14 “KXEL Radio 80th Anniversary Day” in the state. Standing next to her looking on is KXEL host and program director Jeff Stein. The NRG Media news/talk station was the first station in the U.S. to sign on with the maximum 50,000-watts on a clear channel signal. It first took to the air at 5:30 am on July 14, 1942, from studios in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. It was founded by Joe DuMond, a Waterloo native who came to national prominence portraying “Josh Higgins of Finchville” on NBC Radio in the 1930s and 1940s.
Biden in Middle East, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, Uvalde Report, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, European Heatwave/Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East and his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud; the November midterm elections and speculation about the nominees for president in 2024; the high inflation rate, unstable stock market, and fears of a recession; the release of the Uvalde School Shooting report; the ongoing January 6 hearings; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy; the climbing rate of subvariant BA.5 COVID cases in the U.S.; the intense heatwave gripping Europe and the Mediterranean wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS 2021 Conference Video Posted – Panel Discussion, “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Change.” The 10th video, under the direction of Art Vuolo, from the TALKERS 2021 Conference that took place at Hofstra University on June 11, is posted. This installment features the panel discussion, “Maintaining Integrity in Times of Political and Cultural Change.” Moderated by Lee Harris, morning drive anchor, WINS, New York, introduced by Brad Shepard, GM, Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA, and sponsored by ABC News Radio, the panel featured (in alphabetical order): Juliet Huddy, talk show host, WABC, New York; Dr. Lisa Mozer, talk show host WSIC, Statesville, NC/podcaster, “Teacher Talk”; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Lisa Wexler, talk show host, WICC, Bridgeport/probate judge, State of Connecticut; Larry Young, talk show host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Rich Zeoli, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The major panels and presentations from TALKERS 2021 will remain posted on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.
Round One of June PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s June 2021 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 June 2021 sweep covered May 27 – June 23. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In New York City, Audacy’s all-news properties are basically flat with WINS dipping one tenth to a 2.6 share (6+ weekly, AQH share) and WCBS-AM adding one-tenth to finish with a 2.5 share. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles remains ranked #3 even though it loses four-tenths to finish the survey with a 4.4 share. In Chicago, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM slides to the #10 rank after adding one-tenth for a 3.3 share and Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM remains in the #2 rank after adding one-tenth for a 6.0 share finish. Cumulus Media’s WBAP-AM, Dallas tacks on two-tenths for a 3.6 share and climbs from the #12 rank to #9. Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta continues its run as the #1 ranked station even after shedding a half share to finish the survey with an 8.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.
SummitMedia Appoints Rick Parrish President of Omaha Market. Radio executive Rick Parrish is named president of SummitMedia’s Omaha station group that includes sports talk KXSP “AM 590 ESPN,” four music brands and the “Todd ‘n’ Tyler” morning show franchise. Parrish’s nearly 50 years of radio experience includes serving as market manager for iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, and Cherry Creek. SummitMedia CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are very excited to have Rick lead our amazing team in Omaha. His wealth of experience, passion and competitive nature will serve us well as we move forward.” Parrish adds, “I’m excited to be a part of the leadership of SummitMedia Omaha. SummitMedia has an excellent team in Omaha that is dedicated to entertaining and informing our listeners and achieving outstanding results for our clients. I’m confident that we will continue to grow and receive exceptional results.”
Binnie Media’s SEALs By the Sea Event Raises $145,000 for Veterans. Pictured above are some of the 35 former and present Navy SEALs (including Congressman Dan Crenshaw who is fifth from the right) who took part in Binnie Media’s first annual SEALs By The Sea VIP Luncheon event on July 9. The newest addition to the Swim With a Mission Veteran Festival was held at the Wentworth By The Sea Country Club where more than 150 people showed up in support of Veterans, including generous event sponsors, Binnie Media staff, and the SEALs, their families, and their friends. Through the sale of VIP tickets and a live auction, Binnie Media’s SEALs By The Sea event raised more than $144,500 for the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, as well as Trident Tuition Funds, and Swim With A Mission. Since its inception, Swim With A Mission has raised over $6 million for Veteran organizations.
‘The Dana Show’ Adds New Affiliate Stations. The Radio America nationally syndicated talk program, “The Dana Show,” starring Dana Loesch announces the addition of new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KIVA, Albuquerque; KJJR, Whitefish, Montana; KNFT, Bayard, New Mexico; KRSN, Los Alamos, New Mexico; KWOR, Worland, Wyoming; KODI, Cody, Wyoming; KIML, Gillette, Wyoming; WNIX, Greenville, Mississippi; and WULK-FM, Crawfordville, Georgia. “The Dana Show” is now heard on almost 250 stations nationwide. Dana Loesch is a regular contributor to FOX News and has been invited to provide election analysis on FOX, CNN, and ABC and has also appeared on HBO. She is the author of three books.
iHeartMedia to Broadcast ‘Global Citizen Live’ Event. The September 25 multi-continent event Global Citizen Live will be broadcast by iHeartMedia as the company is serving as the exclusive U.S. audio partner. Global Citizen Live will consist of performances from six continents with the goal being to “defend the planet and defeat poverty.” It will feature music artists, activists and world leaders taking the stage at iconic locations across the globe all in an effort to inspire global action and shine a light on issues ranging from equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations, hunger, education and climate change. To help support this historic worldwide event iHeart will launch Global Citizen Radio later this month which will offer the latest news and information surrounding the event leading up to Global Citizen Live. iHeartMedia president of Entertainment Enterprises John Sykes says, “By bringing together the world’s most powerful leaders, music artists, cultural influencers, and the general public, Global Citizen has recreated the ‘Live Aid’ of this generation and is once again proving that music can encourage citizen action in the movement to fight extreme poverty. iHeart is proud of our deep relationship with Global Citizen and the progress they have made in the last decade addressing some of the toughest global issues of our time.” iHeartMedia’s six New York radio stations, including news/talk WOR, will again support this year’s Global Citizen Festival, the free ticketed festival that takes place on the Great Lawn of New York’s Central Park on September 25.
‘ESPN Chicago’ Personality David Kaplan to Lead ‘Walk As One’ Charity Event. Chicago sports media personality David Kaplan – host at Good Karma Brand’s WMVP “ESPN 1000” will lead the second annual “Walk as One” charity walk scheduled for Thursday, September 23, 2021. The event benefits Bernie’s Book Bank, which sources, processes and distributes free, quality children’s books to under-served children ages birth to sixth grade throughout the Chicagoland area. Kaplan will walk with Bernie’s Book Bank CEO Darrin Utynek for 24 miles hitting various stops along the way, including Guaranteed Rate Field, the United Center, and other stadiums across Chicago, to raise awareness and donations. In 2020, the event raised over $95,000 with around 350 donors, and this year, the goal is to raise over $300,000. ESPN Chicago market manager Mike Thomas says, “What Kap and Darrin Utynek were able to do last year, during a pandemic, to help Chicago’s under-served children was amazing. We are thrilled to partner with Bernie’s Book Bank again this year to make this fundraiser even bigger and to help more children. The new route to go to all the stadiums is really awesome.”
TALKERS News Notes. This fall’s college football broadcast schedule from Compass Media Networks is released. Compass kicks off this season’s slate of games on Saturday, August 28 at 12:30 pm ET with the Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Illinois Fighting Illini. The schedule features top-ranked schools from the Power Five Conferences: ACC, BIG TEN, BIG 12, SEC and PAC-12. Compass general manager of sports Michelle Salvatore says, “After a year of uncertainty and challenges, it’s great to see a return to normalcy. College football is a beloved pastime, and we are honored to continue our commitment to offering full productions of one of the greatest sports. Our schedule of games features the best action in NCAA football available. Once again, our team of talent, producers, and engineers at Compass Media Networks is ready to bring the best of college football straight to our listeners.”…..Today (7/14) at 3:00 pm ET, Nielsen is hosting a webinar to present the results from its Nielsen Audio Consumer Sentiment survey, conducted in June to provide an understanding of how people feel about COVID restrictions and the economy in their local markets. Nielsen’s Audio Consumer Sentiment Survey is an ongoing consumer study series addressing current American consumer sentiment around COVID-19 and media usage. The study includes insights about activities consumers engage in, including health, schooling, employment, and transportation. Additionally, the study includes new data about vaccines and people’s purchasing habits. You can register for the webinar here…..The RAB is presenting its next “Radio Sales Essentials” workshop focusing on how to develop relationships and provide solutions which guides clients to the next right step on July 27. RAB says, “A change in business requires a change in approach. This course is ideal for new and experienced sellers to learn, develop, and strengthen their skills-set to ensure an individual seller’s success and station’s long-term revenue growth.” Register for the workshop here…..Beasley Media Group signs with vCreative to use its suite of software products. As a result, all Beasley stations will use vPPO for commercial production; vPromotions for promotions, contesting and event management; and vTrade to manage their trade inventory. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Our business has grown more complex as we have grown into new and innovative areas for our audiences and our advertising customers. vCreative’s solutions are essential to bridge the gap between what we promise and what we deliver, providing us with a best-in-class platform that enables our teams to have more time to do what they do best: create.”
COVID-19 Delta Variant and Vaccines, Cuba Protests, Voter Legislation, Senate Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Budget, Haiti Assassination Investigation, and Airline Industry Woes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13). The rise in COVID-19 cases in several states and concerns about the falling rate of vaccinations; the protests against Cuba’s government taking place in Florida; the battle over new, strict voter legislation in numerous states; the $3.5 trillion spending bill from Senate Democrats; the investigation into Americans allegedly involved in the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise; and the large number of cancelled and delayed flights affecting U.S. travel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.