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Monday, September 12, 2022

| September 12, 2022

Monday Memo: “Like Sands Through the Hourglass…” Beginning today, a TV milestone. “Or is this ‘the canary in the coal mine?’” consultant Holland Cooke asks. Beginning today, after 57 years and 58 Emmy Awards on broadcast television, “The Days of Our Lives” will now be seen exclusively on NBC’s streaming platform Peacock. In this week’s column, HC notes how this trend is playing-out, and what it means to radio. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Coupons. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the renewed interest in clipping coupons thanks to the current high prices of food and other consumer goods. Coupons were, and still can be a barometer for return on investment by marketers who use them; and they’ve been a thorn in the side of radio sellers from time to time, as well. Lapa has some suggestions for radio sellers running into competition from coupon marketers. Read it here.

Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 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 August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin jumps a full share to finish the survey with a 4.2 share (weekly, 6+ AHQ share) that lifts it from the #11 rank to #7. Although rising by 1.4 shares for a 9.3 share finish, Radio One’s news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis remains in the #2 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN continues to hold down the #1 rank after adding four-tenths for a 10.3 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ falls seven-tenths for an 8.9 share that keeps it ranked #2. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence tacks on eight-tenths for a 4.8 share finish but remains ranked #7 as iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WHJJ is up half a share for a 1.2 share that lifts it to the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three groups) here.

iHeartMedia Promotes Three to New Roles as Metro Presidents. The company announces the promotion of three current market presidents to the newly created roles of metro presidents. First, Columbus market president Kris Foley is now metro president for Columbus and Cleveland. Second, Charlotte market president Dave Carwile is now metro president for the Carolinas giving him oversight of Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, Greensboro, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. And third, Cincinnati market president D.J. Hodge is now metro president for Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. All three executives report to Tom McConnell, division president for iHeartMedia Multi-Platform Group.

Audacy Names Terri Gunnell EVP of Advertising Technology, Products and Platforms. Advertising technology professional Terri Gunnell is named EVP of advertising technology, products and platforms for Audacy. She comes to the company from WarnerMedia where she was EVP, head of monetization and data platforms. In her new role with Audacy, she’ll lead the teams responsible for advertising technology, products and platforms for the company’s revenue organization, providing business-focused use cases and requirements for vendors and ad tech engineers to ensure that the platforms meet business needs. She’ll also lead the business transformation activities surrounding people, process and tech, partnering with peer leaders to ensure that organizational structure and business processes are optimized and successfully supported by the tech and data platforms. Audacy chief revenue officer Brian Benedik comments, “Terri’s extensive technical expertise, ability to administer and guide large budgets and staff, combined with her commitment to building collaborative teams, makes her a perfect candidate to take on this role. We look forward to her owning this rapidly growing portion of our business to help us best serve our clients, partners and consumers.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Uta Knablein to Chief Product Officer for iHeartRadio. The company promotes Uta Knablein from her executive vice president of iHeartRadio’s Flagship Products and User Experience role to chief product officer for iHeartRadio. iHeartMedia says of Knablein, “She brings a deep expertise in leading teams to create behavior-driven and data-informed products that drive audience growth, user engagement, increased loyalty and revenue.” iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne says, “At iHeartMedia, we’re committed to innovation and being on the forefront of this fast paced industry. Since joining the team, Uta has played a critical role in elevating the user experience through groundbreaking products and features. With her decades of experience and shared values, there is no doubt she is the right leader for our product team. As we look toward the future, we’re thrilled to have Uta’s depth of industry knowledge to keep us on the cutting edge.” Knablein steps into this role following former chief product officer Chris Williams’ 17-year tenure at iHeartMedia.

Legendary Talk Show Host Steve Kass Back in the Game. Retired talk radio personality Steve Kass has informed TALKERS that he is interested in getting back on the air as a fill-in host. Kass states, “There is so much going on right now in the nation and world, it is difficult to sit on the sidelines and not participate in what is clearly one of the most exciting and consequential chapters in news/talk broadcasting history. Today, with access to leading-edge remote technology, there is absolutely no reason not to get back in the game.” Kass is credited as having been one of the most successful voices heard on the airwaves in New England where he was a major player at both WPRO and WHJJ in Providence between 1984 and 2005 – many of those years as a dominant morning host. Kass hung up his headphones in 2005 to accept the position of communications director in the administration of Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri. During his last year on the air, Kass was named the Associated Press “Talk Show Host of the Year” and in 2010 he was inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. Kass tells TALKERS, “No job is too big or too small” and that he can be available on very short notice. Steve Kass can be reached by phone at 401-663-9776 or emailed at stevegkass@gmail.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Former Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Larry Elder is considering a run for president, he tells The Daily Wire. In an interview, Elder says what brought him to run against California Governor Gavin Newsom in last year’s recall election. “[A] number of people approached me as you know, to encourage me to run for governor of California. And little by little I felt that I had a moral and spiritual and a patriotic obligation to do it.” He adds, “I didn’t think I would like politics. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I was surprised at how good I was at it. And in about seven and a half weeks which is when I got into the race, with only that much time left. I raised around $22 million —  more than all of the major rivals combined.”…..Los Angeles talk radio station KBLA “Talk 1580” is presenting an election forum tonight (9/12) with incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and challenger and former Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna. This is the first in the station’s Public Safety Forum series of events. It’s being streamed on the station’s website, YouTube and Facebook and will be broadcast on KBLA later. It’s being moderated by station owner Tavis Smiley with radio hosts Dominique DiPrima, Angela Reddock-Wright and Nii Quartelai Quartey…..Good Karma Brands’ ESPN Wisconsin launches the Tundra Trio Radio Network, which is airing Green Bay Packers content across sports talk WKTI-FM, “94.5 ESPN” and news/talk WTMJ in Milwaukee and WTLX-FM, Madison “100.5 ESPN.” The newest Good Karma Brands radio network got its name from its Tundra Trio properties, two houses adjacent to Lambeau Field where private tailgates are hosted prior to each home game. Kicking off every Packers game day at the Tundra Trio houses are former Packer Gary Ellerson and WTMJ personality Greg Matzek. Following each game, host Gabe Neitzel and Steve “The Homer” True, alongside Packers Hall-of-Famer Mark Tauscher, will team up for the “Pack Attack Postgame.”

Trump vs DOJ, Ukraine Recaptures Territory, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, King Charles III Crowned, Fentanyl Crisis, NFL Season Opens, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The legal battle between former President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice over documents Trump was keeping at his Mar-a-Lago residence; Ukraine forces recapture territory from Russia and concerns over the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the November midterms elections and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Charles III is crowned King of Great Britain; the growing rate of fentanyl being shipped across the U.S.-Mexico border; the NFL opens its 103rd season; and the wildfires in the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

| September 7, 2022

Cumulus Unfriends Podcast Movement After Ben Shapiro Incident. After an incident at Podcast Movement’s recent Dallas convention at which Westwood One talk host Ben Shapiro made an impromptu appearance that bothered an attendee, prompting them to complain to the organizers, and Podcast Movement actually issuing an apology, Cumulus Media announces it is severing its relationship with the organization. Shapiro has one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the U.S. based on numerous surveys. It is published by The Daily Wire and repped by Cumulus Podcast Network. Cumulus was a sponsor of the event based on its purchase of a booth and Shapiro says he stopped by while in town on other business. This, according to The Washington Examiner, caused one attendee to tweet: “Hey @PodcastMovement what the f***. As a trans person, as a queer person, as someone with a uterus, this does not make me feel welcome. This does not make me feel safe.” Podcast Movement then tweeted an apology. Both of those tweets have since been deleted. On Tuesday (9/6), Cumulus issued the following statement: “At Cumulus Media, our tenet is that Every Voice Matters and we support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect. As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement. After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.” Meanwhile, The Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing states, “I’m glad to see our longtime partner Cumulus/Westwood One taking such a strong and public stand against Podcast Movement’s outright and abject bigotry.  Though Podcast Movement quietly removed their bigoted tweet thread over the weekend, they still have yet to retract and publicly apologize for their hateful comments about Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire. In an illiberal moment such as the one we’re currently living in, if we don’t stand up to this kind of bigoted behavior it’s only going to get worse.  I certainly hope Cumulus’s strong response to Podcast Movement is the first of many others like it.”

Houston Sports Media Figure John McClain Takes on Senior Columnist Role at ‘Sports Radio 610.’ Longtime Houston sports columnist and KILT-AM contributor John McClain takes on the new title senior Texans columnist for “Sports Radio 610.” The Audacy station says that in this role, McClain will provide weekly postgame observations, team report cards and Texans-driven columns throughout the season. He’ll also continue to appear regularly on its programs “Payne and Pendergast,” “In the Loop with John Lopez and Landry Locker,” and “Clint Stoerner and The Show.” McClain will also co-host the Houtopia Football Podcast alongside “Sports Radio 610” morning show host Sean Pendergast. KILT-AM brand manager Parker Hillis says, “To officially bring a Houston legend in John McClain onto our team is incredible. John has always been one of our biggest proponents in the market and I’m thrilled that Texans fans will now be able to read his observations and opinions at SportsRadio610.com, on top of his weekly radio appearances.” McClain adds, “I’ve been doing sports talk on 610 for 23 years, and I’m fired up about the opportunity to write for the station’s website. I’m especially excited to work with Brandon Scott, one of my favorite reporters in Houston. I think Brandon does a terrific job covering Houston sports, and it’s an honor to cover the Texans with him.”

SummitMedia Appoints Justin Ragland Corporate VP of Events and Promotions. Promoted from his role managing SummitMedia LLC’s Birmingham market promotions department to the corporate position vice president of events and promotions is Justin Ragland. He’ll now oversee events and promotions at 46 stations in nine markets nationwide. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are very pleased to have Justin leading our events and promotions efforts. He has done an outstanding job for us in Birmingham, and we are excited for him to bring his unique skillset to the entire company.” Ragland, who will remain based in Birmingham, comments, “My goal is to be an instrumental team member in every SummitMedia market to help grow each brand in both ratings and revenue. Joining the leadership team for this company is a privilege and one that I am excited about.”

Round One of August PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2022 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. Nielsen’s August 2022 sweep covered July 21 – August 17. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media Group’s news/talk WABC/WLIR-FM tacks on two-tenths for a 4.3 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish but drops back to the #8 rank. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR adds one-tenth to wrap with a 2.0 share and remains ranked #18. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles rises to the #4 rank after climbing three-tenths for a 4.8 share finish, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news KNX-AM/FM adds three-tenths for a 3.3 share that lifts it to the #10 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM is up three-tenths for a 3.3 share that pushes it up to the #8 rank, while Audacy’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM is steady with a 4.6 share that keeps it ranked #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

Robin Sloan Named EVP of Audio Sales for AdLarge. Audio sales pro Robin Sloan joins AdLarge as executive vice president of audio sales. In this new role, Sloan will work directly with chief revenue officer Don Wachsmith on revenue strategy development and agency relationships. She will also focus on driving revenue with the audio sales team and managing the day to day activity. Most recently, Sloan was the director of national partnerships at Westwood One. AdLarge co-CEO Cathy Csukas comments, “I’m delighted to have Robin join our team. She’s a veteran recognized in the audio industry for bringing her exceptional relationships and in-depth experience in sales, management and sports to the AdLarge audio sales efforts. I could not find a more perfect person to fit this role and continue to help us grow our business.”

TALKERS News Notes. Revisions to its 2022 third quarter revenue estimates are being announced by Salem Media Group, Inc. The company says that taking into account the postponement of the forthcoming book, 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza, until the fourth quarter, lower than expected revenue on SalemNOW, and the impact on advertising revenue due to the weakening economic environment, the company now expects third quarter 2022 total revenue to be between flat and an increase of 2% over third quarter 2021 total revenue of $66 million…..A new podcast by Bloomberg News and iHeartMedia that investigates a massive transfer of wealth a century ago, out of Osage hands and into White ones – facilitated by the United States government  — and how the Osage Nation is fighting to reverse decades of land loss today is being produced. The podcast, called “In Trust,” is hosted by Bloomberg reporter Rachel Adams-Heard, who says, “A hundred and fifty years ago, the Osage Nation bought a stretch of prairie the size of Delaware, in what’s now Oklahoma. The Osage owned the land and everything beneath it. Today, much of present-day Osage County has left Osage hands. In some cases, appropriation was swift and brutal: Dozens of Osages were murdered for their share of lucrative mineral rights to this oil-rich land, a period often referred to as the Reign of Terror. But other transfers of wealth played out more subtly—dollar by dollar and acre by acre, over decades—helped along by policies created by the US government. ‘In Trust’ is the story of that system. A system that moved wealth from Native hands to White ones. One that three brothers learned to operate, laying the foundation for a modern American dynasty of land and influence that continues to this day.”…..iHeartMedia announces that chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference on Tuesday September 13 at 1:45 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.

Special Master Ruling, Georgia Election Investigation, Midterms & 2024 Presidential Race, Russia-Ukraine War, Saskatchewan Stabbings Investigation, and Western Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6). Controversy over federal Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling to appoint a Special Master to review the documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence; the investigation into Donald Trump’s and Lindsey Graham’s interactions with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the breach of that state’s voting system allegedly by fake Trump electors; Tuesday’s primary races for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; the investigation into the deadly stabbings in Saskatchewan; and the brutal heatwave affecting the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, August 12, 2022

| August 12, 2022

Pioneering Broadcaster, Anti-Ageism Activist and TALKERS Principal Carole Marks Dies at 86.  The longtime host of the groundbreaking, upper-demo syndicated radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups,” Carole Marks Scott of Mystic, CT passed away this past Sunday (8/7) at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. She was 86. Ms. Marks was the host and founder of the groundbreaking and long-running upper-demo-targeted radio talk show, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups” and a principal in Talk Media, Inc., the parent company of TALKERS – a partner in both ventures with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and radio executive Shelley McBreairty. Ms. Marks graduated from Oxford School and attended Connecticut College. She had four children. As a newly single mature woman, she went back to school and earned her college degree from the University of New Haven when three of her four children were adults. She found her passion as director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of New London. In that position, Ms. Marks was interviewed in the media about issues concerning senior citizens on WSUB, New London and was invited to start her own radio show, “Senior Focus with Carole Marks” in the mid-nineties. The idea of a radio show aimed at an older demographic was unique at the time, and upon joining forces with Michael Harrison as her partner and co-host, her show was syndicated nationally with a new name, “A Touch of Grey: The Talk Show for Grownups.” The show ran for two decades accruing thousands of listeners and establishing Ms. Marks as one of America’s leading experts on upper demographic issues as well as a champion in the battle against ageism.  She waged a relentless campaign on a number of media fronts to make, as she put it, “the lives of the 50-plus generation as meaningful, fulfilling and as productive as possible.” Her mission was to counter negative senior stereotypes and she spoke before civic groups, professional associations, and industry conventions all across the country as a supporter of the group she liked to call “seasoned citizens.” At its peak, “A Touch of Grey” was heard on more than 50 stations across America, including at different times, New York City’s WOR, WABC and WNYM.  Her guests included the biggest names in health care, politics, sports and the arts, including presidents of the United States.  She boldly tackled such problems as the rising cost of prescription drugs, the future of Social Security and Medicare, challenges facing the “sandwich generation” who must take care of young adult children on one side and elderly parents on the other, planning retirement during difficult economic times, the best ways to choose a nursing home, safe and effective ways to diet and exercise, understanding leading edge technology, and countless other subjects. Ms. Marks would often take her show on the road and broadcast live from such diverse places as the United States Senate Office Building, the jungles of Africa, the Taj Mahal, the North American Orient Express, or a glacier in Antarctica. She was proudest of being in the White House press room and on Air Force One with President Obama. She said, “I want people to know that just because you’ve put on a few years doesn’t mean you can’t go out and explore the world and life, and, most importantly, continue to learn and grow.” Travel became a second passion, as she went on worldwide trips to all seven continents and had a map in her kitchen showing all of the places she had visited, including Dharamshala, India where she met the Dalai Lama. In 2004, Ms. Marks found love again and was married for the second time, to J Irving Bird Scott. In 2005. She wrote the book Modern Aging: A Guide for Seasoned Citizens to Achieve Health, Happiness and Purpose (Talkers Books 2005). TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “Carole was one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege to know in my life.  Her role as my friend and business partner were invaluable in contributing to the longevity and success of our media enterprises.  She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, as well as a consequential thought-leader, businesswoman, humanitarian and philanthropist who supported numerous public service organizations and non-profits.” Her business partner Shelley McBreairty adds, “Carole was more than a beloved colleague and source of guidance and inspiration. She treated me and my daughters as a mother and a grandmother. We all love her dearly.” A public celebration of life for Carole Marks Scott will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to The Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street New London, CT 06320, or Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Avenue, New London, CT 06320.

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Vic or Perp?” looks back at this past week of 8/8 to 8/12. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College, NJ; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Greta Van Susteren, talk show host, Newsmax TVMartha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and Holland Cooke, media consultant. The show airs weekends (Friday evenings to Sunday nights) on almost 100 broadcast signals and networks across the U.S. and U.K as well as having developed a significant international following as a podcast. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is 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.

Round Four of July PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 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 July 2022 sweep covered June 23 – July 20. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Raleigh, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM is steady with an 8.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) that keeps it locked in the #3 rank, while Curtis Media Group’s crosstown news/talk WPTF is up one-tenth for a 1.8 share good for the #15 rank. Although it sheds 1.5 shares, Emmis’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis remains ranked #2 after posting a 7.9 share. The news/talk battle in Milwaukee flips as iHeartMedia’s WISN leaps into the #1 rank after adding nine-tenths for a 9.9 share finish, while Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ drops 1.8 shares, finishes with a 9.6 share and falls to #2. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville dips seven-tenths for a 6.2 share finish that drags it from #4 to #6, while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WLAC rises eight-tenths to a 2.5 share good for the #13 rank. In West Palm Beach, Hubbard Broadcasting’s news/talk WFTL spikes by 2.4 shares for a 3.4 share finish that moves it from #13 to #7, while iHeartMedia’s talk WZZR dips three-tenths to a 2.1 share good for the #10 rank and sister news/talk WJNO rises three-tenths to a 1.7 share and the #11 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first three rounds) here.

RTDNA Announces 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the national winners of the 2022 Edward R. Murrow Awards in recognition of outstanding work in digital, radio and television journalism in technical and editorial categories. RTDNA president and CEO Dan Shelley says, “The Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in journalism. More than 750 Regional Murrow winners advanced to the national competition, and over the past few months, an expert panel of journalists has meticulously reviewed and deliberated over every entry. That’s why I’m confident in saying today’s winners represent the absolute best of the best. So, let me be the first to say congratulations to our newest National Edward R. Murrow Award winners.” RTDNA chair Allison McGinley adds, “Thank you to every journalist who played a role in the pieces that were submitted. Not everyone can be a Murrow Award winner, but all of you make a difference in your communities. Thank you for the work you do.” See all the winners here.

LATimes: No One Listens to Sports Talk Radio in L.A. Why the People in Charge Aren’t Worried. Los Angeles Times writer Bill Shaikin looks at the question of why Los Angeles – of all the major markets – has the lowest listenership to sports talk radio, according to Nielsen Audio ratings. In the piece, Shaikin talks to WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” afternoon drive hosts Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti – and others – about why East Coast cities like Boston and Philadelphia have huge sports talk listener audiences while Los Angeles pales in comparison. Read his story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The new permanent host of FOX News Channel’s “FOX News Sunday” program is Shannon Bream. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says Bream – the first woman to host the 26-year-old program – will start on September 11. She will continue as the network’s chief legal correspondent. Scott says, “Shannon is an outstanding journalist, reporter and anchor who has cultivated a strong and enduring relationship with the FOX News Media audience.”…..The National Sports Network is partnering with in USA Radio Network to offer a slate of NCAAfootball games for radio stations. Beginning the schedule this season is the September 3 game Alabama vs Utah State. Other September games include Tennessee at Pitt and Oklahoma at Nebraska. See the whole schedule here…..iHeartMedia Nashville is presenting the 20th annual Wine on the River event on September 10. This year, the funds raised will go to The DISTRICT’s initiative 2ndavestrong, which helps restore the vitally important historic district of 2nd Avenue. The initiative was created in response to the damage resulting from the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville in 2020. News/talk WLAC and its sister stations are promoting the event…..WBUR, Boston unveils its fall season for CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center, “a state-of-the-art live event venue for cutting-edge conversations, adventurous art and innovative ideas. Bringing WBUR’s journalism alive on stage, CitySpace conversations feature some of the nation’s leading thinkers on timely topics such as the changing media landscape, the state of national politics, climate change and the challenges of American motherhood.”

FBI Raid/Trump Legal Issues Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 8-12. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago as well as his legal battle with the State of New York combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics and the week’s primary elections, followed by urban crime, gun control, and policing issues at #3. 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.

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.

Friday, July 15, 2022

| July 15, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The Merchants of Division,” looks back at this past week of 7/11 to 7/15. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Peter King, correspondent, CBS News Radio, Orlando/Kennedy Space Center; Daliah Wachs, M.D., talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Matthew B. Harrison, VP/associate publisher, TALKERS. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas; WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Podcast RadioUK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

It’s My Party – The Story of Hubbard Broadcasting’s ‘myTalk 107.1’. Back in 2000, Hubbard Broadcasting bought a pair of New Richmond, Wisconsin-licensed country-formatted stations (WIXK-AM & WIXK-FM) for $27 million. The company subsequently tested several formats for the FM, then upgraded it to a move-in signal at 107.1 for Minneapolis-St. Paul, roughly 47 miles to the west. Country was jettisoned in early-June 2002 so it could give way to what has blossomed into a distinctively different approach to the talk radio genre. In this feature story, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian does a deep dive into the female-targeted talk station KTMY-FM “myTalk 107.1” that will celebrate its 20th anniversary as a talker next Thursday. Hubbard Minneapolis VP/market manager Dan Seeman says company president and CEO Ginny Morris “saw that ‘Oprah was Oprah’ [and wondered why] a talk radio station couldn’t be aimed at women. Even today, all talk radio is [male-targeted]. It doesn’t mean that women aren’t listening; [however], news, politics, and sports lean more toward men. Ginny will always tell you that the hope for the station was to create Vanity Fair on the air. The conversation was about relationships and certainly included news and information – but from a female perspective. It was much lighter and with laughs. There wasn’t – and still isn’t – anything else like [KTMY] anywhere in the country.” Read the full story here.

Round Three of June PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. 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 Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM rises three-tenths to finish the survey with an 8.2 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and remains ranked #4. Across town, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KEX-AM tacks on two-tenths to finish ranked #19 after posting a 2.1 share. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI, San Antonio rises to the #8 rank after adding three-tenths for a 4.2 share, while Alpha Media’s crosstown news/talk KTSA adds half a share for a 2.6 share finish good for the #15 rank. In Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-AM/FM is #1 after rising six-tenths to a 10.6 share finish while Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM adds seven-tenths for a 6.8 share that pushes it up to the #2 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first two rounds) here.

Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden to Host Late Mornings on Audacy’s ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. Two of the Atlanta market’s most well-known sports talk personalities are joining Audacy’s WZGC-FM “92.9 The Game” to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show effective August 4. The new program featuring Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden is called “The Front Row on 92.9 The Game.” Shapiro and Golden co-hosted together previously in the market on Dickey Broadcasting’s crosstown sports talker WCNN-AM “The Fan.” Audacy Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey states, “We are excited to welcome Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden to the ‘92.9 The Game’ team and for the addition of this brand-new show to our weekday programming slate. Like our listeners, Steak and Sandra are extremely passionate about our Atlanta sports teams, and their high-energy, fast-paced show will be a great compliment to our market-leading schedule of live and local sports content.” Shapiro is also the creator and host of the Emmy Award-winning television show “Atlanta Eats.” He’s has lead roles on Food Network shows “Food Truck Face-Off” and “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and has been a guest commentator on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, FOX Business and Headline News. He is the founder of Big League Broadcasting and Bread n Butter Content Studio. Golden is a three-time Emmy Award winner and four-time Associated Press Award winner. Audacy says additional co-hosts of “The Front Row on 92.9 The Game” will be announced at a later date.

Research Director Announces New Staffers. With the retirement of longtime quality control team manager Kathryn Boxill from Research Director, Inc, the company announces a number of promotions. Nakia Smith takes on additional duties as client services consultant and senior team lead. At the same time, Matthew Wright assumes the quality control team supervisor and graphic designer position. Additionally, Lucas Gordon and Andrew Wilson join the company as media data analysts. Research Director Inc founder and CEO Marc Greenspan says of the retiring Boxill, “She was the second employee we hired back in 1996. I interviewed her at my dining room table before we moved into our first office in 1997. She has played an important role in every stage of our company’s success since then. We wish her the best in the next phase of her journey.”

TALKERS News Notes. Next Wednesday afternoon (7/20), Cumulus Media’s WBAP, Dallas and talk host Rick Roberts will present a live, in-studio panel discussion with school safety experts and DFW community leaders called “School Security and Your Child’s Safety.” Taking part in the two-hour program will be Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, Texas State Senator Royce West, retired NYPD lieutenant and FOX News contributor Joe Cardinale, retired Texas Ranger and co-founder of Cinco Peso Training Group Brad Oliver, and Dallas Police Association president Sgt. Mike Mata…..The Nebraska Broadcasters Association will enshrine Rick Alloway, Gary Kerr, and Neil Nelkin into its Hall of Fame on August 9 during the 87th Annual NBA Convention. Alloway served with KFOR, Lincoln from 1972-1984 as an announcer, producer, promotions director and operations manager. He became a full-time University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty member who taught the college’s sports broadcasting course for 30 years and was a member of the steering committee that developed the college’s major in Sports Media and Communication. Kerr served with WOW-AM & WOW-TV beginning in 1964. He became the WOWT-TV news anchor in 1971. Nelkin has moved through the broadcasting ranks as an announcer, talk show host, program director, operations manager, station manager and co-owner. He continues to stay active in Omaha radio, at both NRG Media and at Walnut Media…..Double Elvis, in partnership with iHeartMedia, announces the launch of a brand new travel-meets-music podcast titled, “Sound of Our Town.” The new scripted, narrative-style audio series explores 10 different cities across the United States in-depth by taking listeners through each town’s individual culture of music. In each episode, host and acclaimed independent recording artist Will Dailey digs into each city’s best live music venues, tells the tales of local musicians, and details the neighborhoods and communities where new sound styles thrive and more. The show’s premiere episode takes listeners through the dynamic sound of Portland, Maine, while other episodes will delve into local music from Asbury Park, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Tulsa, Phoenix, Houston and Philadelphia.

Partisan Politics and the Elections Tie as Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 11-15. The partisan politics in Washington, DC tied with the November midterm elections and speculation about who will be the presidential nominees in 2024 tied as the most talked about stories on news/talk radio during the week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of the U.S. economy as inflation, sinking stocks and fears of a recession plague Americans, followed by the January 6 Committee hearings at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is a result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.