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Friday, May 6, 2022

| May 6, 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, “Mothers of Contention,” looks back at this past week of 5/2 to 5/6. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSHarry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaTodd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; and Gregg Stebben, correspondent, beamz.live. 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 NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK 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.

 

iHeartMedia Reports Q1 2022 Consolidated Revenue Up 19.4%. Financial results from the first quarter of 2022 for iHeartMedia Inc. reveal consolidated revenue of $843 million, an increase of 19.4% over the same period a year ago. The company’s net loss shrank during the first quarter to $48.7 million from the $242 million net loss posted during Q1 of 2021. iHeartMedia posted operating income of $12.3 million for the first quarter, compared to the operating loss of $76.4 million it reported in Q1 of 2021. Looking at the company’s reporting by segment, broadcast radio was up 16.2% on revenue of $416.5 million, and networks was up 2.1% on revenue of $117.6 million. Those, along with sponsorships & events, comprise the company’s Multiplatform Group. The Digital Audio Group consists of digital excluding podcasting, which reported revenue of $145.7 million (up 22.2%), and podcasting, which reported revenue of $68.5 million (an increase of 78.7%). The company’s Audio & Media Services Group reported revenue of $60.9 million (up 10.4%) for the quarter. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We’re pleased to report another quarter of strong results, and believe our performance is further evidence of the successful execution of our digital transformation and multiplatform strategy, and the power of our position as the #1 audio company in America across broadcast radio, digital radio, and podcasting. We remain committed to building on iHeart’s transformation into a data-led, digitally focused business; to investing in areas with high-growth potential; and to continuing our focus on innovation and being at the forefront of new technologies and digital platforms which create incremental growth opportunities for Audio.”

 

‘Toucher & Rich’ Morning Show Expands to Springfield, Mass. Market. The “Toucher & Rich” morning program based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” will be heard on rock Saga Communications WLZX-FM/W253CD in the Springfield-Northampton, Massachusetts market beginning on May 9. The program, hosted by Fred Toucher (left) and Rich Shertenlieb (right), began expanding to affiliate stations throughout New England last fall. This is an uncommon move for Saga, which has a history of keeping its morning drive programs live and local. Toucher & Rich comment, “We’re excited to be launching ‘Toucher & Rich’ in Springfield and Northampton on ‘Lazer 99.3 and 98.5’ with our new friends at Saga Communications. We’re fortunate to have some of the most loyal listeners in radio and look forward to introducing our show to a whole new audience of potential T&R diehards.”

 

Moms & Media 2022. “Two years into COVID,” Moms’ media consumption is changed. “The Research Moms” at Edison Research updated their annual report in a Thursday webinar consultant Holland Cooke attended; and HC’s “one-sentence version” is: “To reach Mom, use smartphones, Alexa, Facebook, and TikTok.” Click here for his notes, and links to download the report and watch a video of the narrated presentation. Read more here.

 

WJR-AM, Detroit Celebrates 100 Years on the Air. On Wednesday (5/4), Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR-AM, Detroit kicked off a year-long Centennial celebration. WJR signed on for the first time on May 4, 1922, as WCX, which changed a few years later to WJR to reflect the ownership of the Jewett Radio and Phonograph Company. Cumulus says, “The station has served the community with excellence for 100 years, with a 50,000-watt signal that can be heard across nearly half the country at night, providing the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan, and the Upper Midwest with news, music, sports, and information by some of the most talented people in the radio industry. Through the years, WJR’s legendary lineup has featured broadcasting giants such as Paul W. Smith, Jack Parr, Mitch Albom, J.P. McCarthy, Frank Beckmann, Ernie Harwell, Guy Gordon, and Rush Limbaugh.” In the last several months leading up to Wednesday’s 100th year birthday, WJR has presented dozens of on-air vignettes that mark memorable moments, tell interesting stories, and feature the unique sound and talented people from WJR’s history. In addition, the station has populated www.wjr.com with archival video, audio and photos that tell the story of WJR’s first 100 years. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manage Steve Finateri comments, “Being at WJR is like being part of an all-star team at every position in this famous Fisher Building. WJR is iconic because of the extremely high standards set by so many world class broadcasters over the past 100 years. Today, those same high standards and our ‘blow torch coverage’ is what still attracts top newsmakers from around the Great Lakes Region and is the reason for our continued success. We take great pride in our programming, our business and civic relationships, and serve the community by raising millions every year for numerous worthy charities that improve the quality of life in Detroit. The best-of-the-best seem to find their way to WJR, and I know that tradition will continue on for the next 100 years.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City media personality and former WGN-AM, Chicago morning drive host Steve Cochran is going to be heard on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM in mornings next week. Cochran will guest host the program that is without a permanent host since Bruce St. James exited the station last month. Since exiting WGN, Cochran has been producing a twice-weekly podcast titled, “Live from My Office.”…..Audio streaming service TuneIn names Tom Fuelling chief financial officer. Fuelling has served as CFO for Hulu, OpenX, ARTISTdirect and most recently, Spokeo, Inc. TuneIn CEO Richard Stern says, “Tom is an incredible addition to our growing leadership team. His experience scaling global media businesses that consumers love is unparalleled. Working in a competitive landscape, TuneIn has emerged as a leader in live audio streaming and we look forward to working with Tom as he’ll help us sustain and maintain our growth both domestically and abroad.”…..FOX News Media, in partnership with the National Merit Scholarship Program, announces the selection of the recipients of the third annual Dr. Charles Krauthammer Memorial Scholarship. This year’s scholarships will be endowed to Emmett Gaffney, son of vice president of documentary programming, Brian Gaffney and Grace LeCroy, the daughter of FOX News assignment desk manager Lillian LeCroy and FOX News Edge photojournalist Phil LeCroy. The winners will be featured on the network’s evening newscast, “Special Report with anchor Bret Baier,” on which Dr. Krauthammer was a fixture over the years. Additionally, Daniel Krauthammer will appear on the program tonight to discuss his father’s legacy. In making the announcement, FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “We are pleased to continue the tradition of honoring Charles Krauthammer’s extraordinary and celebrated career. Emmett and Grace are exceptional students whose many talents extend beyond the classroom. It is our hope that Charles’ brilliant intellect, integrity and courage will serve as an inspiration for them throughout their next endeavors in higher education. Congratulations to Emmett, Grace, and their families.”

 

Roe v Wade Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 2-6. The leak of a draft decision indicating the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics tied with the 2022 and 2024 elections, followed by January 6 committee activity tied with Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the 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.

Monday, March 21, 2022

| March 21, 2022

Monday Memo: Weekend Warriors, Renegotiate. Weekend ask-the-expert shows exploit the most proven concept in marketing: free samples. Common example: The lawyer is in, the meter is off. Done well, these shows can grow all sorts of service businesses. In this week’s column consultant Holland Cooke describes “an EXTERMINATOR who’s a rock star!” But HC observes that, “too often these shows are well-kept secrets because stations don’t promote them properly.” And in this week’s column he shares “two magic words” and other deal points for hosts who broker Saturday/Sunday airtime. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Reimagining How News/Talk is Sold. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column in TALKERS that “chances are you are still pitching the news/talk format the same way you did when podcasting was still a rumor. Is anyone still wondering why podcast ad sales are exploding, while news/talk radio is proud to be hitting 2019 levels?” He suggests sales teams reimagine how news/talk radio is sold. Read more here.

 

Exclusive ‘Kim Komando Show’ to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago on Friday Nights. A new deal between Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talk WLS-AM and WestStar TalkRadio Network is bringing Kim Komando to the station’s listeners for a one-hour, Friday night program produced exclusively for WLS. The 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm show debuts this Friday (3/25) and “will showcase the latest news and insights in digital-lifestyle and technology that helps improve the daily lives of Chicagoland listeners.” Komando’s award-winning, nationally syndicated three-hour weekend show is also heard on WLS-AM 890 every Saturday and Sunday night from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “We are thrilled to have more of Radio Hall of Famer Kim Komando on the ‘Big 89.’ For over 25 years, Kim has been part of the WLS-AM family, providing our listeners with the latest tech news. Now she brings that experience to Friday nights at WLS, where listeners will learn more about why tech matters.” Komando comments, “People have different interests — politics, cars, cooking — you name it. But there is one thing that affects us all and that’s tech. It’s hard to navigate Big Tech taking our privacy along with the hackers, scammers and stalkers. You can Google anything. You can’t Google trusted advice and that’s why I am honored to be our nation’s premier digital expert. I’m thrilled that WLS sees my show worthy for the Friday schedule. Tech isn’t a hobby. It’s our lives.”

 

Christopher Layfield Named OM for Cumulus Indianapolis. Radio programming pro Christopher “Boomer” Layfield is promoted to operations manager for Cumulus Media’s Indianapolis station group that includes sports talk WXNT-AM and five music brands. Layfield joined Cumulus Indianapolis in April 2018 and served as one of two operations managers for the cluster until January, and as program director for country WFMS-FM. He will continue to program WFMS-FM and adult contemporary WNTR-FM. Layfield comments, “It truly is a thrill for me to be able to work with such a gifted group of radio pros at these iconic broadcasting brands here in Indianapolis. Being given the chance to continue to lead these teams at this level is something that I look forward to making the most of, working together for the benefit of our listeners and advertisers… and having fun doing it! I’d like to thank Chuck Fredrick, Doug Hamand and Dave Milner for this amazing opportunity.”

Adam ‘The Bull’ Gerstenhaber to Exit Cleveland’s ‘92.3 The Fan’ on April 1. According to a report in TheFocusAdam “The Bull” Gerstenhaber told his listeners that he will leave Audacy’s sports talk WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” on April 1. Gerstenhaber, who co-hosts the afternoon drive “Bull & Fox” with Dustin Fox, has been with the station for almost 11 years. Gerstenhaber is not saying what his plans are for his  post-Fan career but tweeted: “In case you missed it, I am leaving @923TheFan. The last @BullandFox show will be April 1st (No, this is not an April fools joke). I leave with nothing but love for everyone…especially @DustinFox37 and @KeithBritton86!!”

 

NFL Insider and KIRO-AM Personality John Clayton Remembered. After last week’s passing of longtime sports media figure and NFL insider John Clayton, Bonneville International’s Seattle staff are remembering him with tributes. Clayton was a personality on the company’s KIRO-AM “Seattle Sports” for the past 14 years. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “John was a treasured member of our team. John was a legend in our industry and a true Hall-of-Famer. He was a consistent advocate for the game of football. His connections, friendships and relationships throughout the sports world were simply unmatched. His love of football was only surpassed by his love, loyalty and dedication to his wife Pat. John will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Pat and his family and friends.” KIRO-AM program director Kyle Brown adds, “John was an amazing journalist, colleague and friend. A Hall-of-Famer both personally and professionally, John was one of the most loyal people you’d ever meet. While his loyalty extended to friends and co-workers, it was never stronger than in his commitment to his beloved wife Pat, who he cherished every moment of his life. Our ‘Seattle Sports’ family will miss John dearly and keep his family in our hearts.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. The air talent at Salem Radio Network – including Larry Elder, Sebastian Gorka and others – have been appealing for donations to the non-profit Food for the Poor, which provides food, water and medical supplies to 17 Caribbean and Latin American countries has no “footprint” in Eastern Europe. SRN announces that Food for the Poor has reached an alliance with Feed My Starving Children, which has had staff on the ground in Ukraine for the past eight years, and so effective today (3/21), SRN hosts will generate donations to rush food, clean water and other relief supplies to over 3 million Ukrainian refugees. SRN host Mike Gallagher says, “It took some diplomatic maneuvering between these two awesome charities to combine forces in order to rush emergency relief to the children and families of war-torn Ukraine. All of us at SRN are proud to play a role in this unique campaign, and we’ll be urging our listeners to open their hearts – and their wallets – in the exciting days ahead.”…..The Newsmax-syndicated “Rob Carson Show” announces the addition of new affiliate stations. Launched last fall, the show adds WJFP-AM, Philadelphia; KMZQ-AM, Las Vegas; KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz, California; and WJFP-FM, Trenton, New Jersey. The “Rob Carson Show” airs in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart, the same time slot that Rush Limbaugh occupied. Newsmax notes that Carson wrote comedy for Limbaugh for over 20 years.

 

Russia-Ukraine War/Biden Europe Trip, Gas Prices/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Jackson Confirmation Hearings, and Kanye Cut from Grammys Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the weekend attacks on Kyiv, plus President Joe Biden’s planned trip to Europe; soaring gas prices in the U.S. and the still rising price of consumer retail goods; the battle for control of Congress in November’s mid-term elections, the Republican prospects for president in 2024 and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rising rate of the Omicron variant BA.2 cases in some parts of the world and the U.S.; this week’s start of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson; and Kanye West is ousted from performance at Grammy Awards for his “concerning online behavior” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

A Rich Man’s True Jewels

| March 9, 2022

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS magazine
Managing Editor

 

RICHMOND, VA. — Whether fair or not, market size/overall reach has been elevated as being an individual broadcaster’s dominant barometer of success.

Countless news/talk shows are heard on terrestrial, satellite, and internet radio, as well as through podcasts and other new media streams, yet it would hardly be a stretch to venture that a wildly significant number of news/talk hosts are fervently vying to become the next Rush Limbaugh.

Read More

Thursday, February 17, 2022

| February 17, 2022

WOR Morning Co-Host Michael Riedel is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The co-host (with Len Berman) of the WOR, New York morning show, Michael Riedel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Their successful show, now in its fifth year, combines a left-right political element with sports and arts & entertainment. Riedel is a moderate conservative and Berman is a liberal. They regularly engage in friendly political debate and banter. In addition, both bring their background interests to the table. Berman is a former sports talk personality and Riedel is an established Broadway theater critic as well as a best-selling author. Harrison and Riedel engage in an interesting cell phone conversation examining New York City’s recovery from the economic and public safety issues imposed by the pandemic, plus the state of Broadway theater, cinema and presidential politics. To listen to the podcast in its full eclectic glory, please click here.

Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show to Commemorate Rush Limbaugh Today. On today’s edition of Premiere Networks’ “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show,” the hosts will honor the legacy of Rush Limbaugh on the one-year anniversary of his death. The hosts say they will “reflect on Limbaugh’s ‘way of life,’ as he often described it, and the inspiration and motivation he brought to millions of fans.” Travis and Sexton will “demonstrate how prescient ‘America’s Anchorman’ was and continues to be on the issues of the day, showcasing highlights and accurate predictions from his award-winning program.” The show will also feature notable on-air moments from Limbaugh’s 30-plus year career, listener memories, and special appearances by family, former staff and fellow broadcasters, including: Limbaugh’s wife Kathryn; long-time call screener and “official show observer” James Golden; frequent guest hosts Mark Steyn and Todd Herman; and national radio and TV personality Sean Hannity.

Superadio and Mean Ole Lion Media Partner for Podcast Division. Syndication and sales firm Superadio, LLC announces a partnership with podcast network Mean Ole Lion Media, in which Superadio will serve as the sales and marketing arm focusing on audience growth and monetization. Mean Ole Lion Media positions itself as a place “Where Content is King And Black and Brown Voices Truly Matter.” Superadio says it is launching its podcast division with over 14 Mean Ole Lion Media shows that speak directly to issues affecting Black America, including “Oh That’s Deep,” “Black Women Conversations,” “Business of the Beat,” “The Overlooked” and “Conversations with Dr. Ian Smith.” Mean Ole Lion Media founder Ken Johnson says, “This partnership is the result of mutual admiration and respect for Superadio. Their passion for content is completely in line with Mean Ole Lion Media. The company’s standing in urban radio and their existing content targeting African Americans is an excellent complement to our efforts in the podcast arena.”

Edison Research and Ad Results Media Present Super Listeners Study Results. Super listeners are defined by Edison Research as American adults who listen to five or more hours of podcasts weekly. In the third annual Super Listener Study from Edison and Ad Results Media, the data indicates that Super Listeners are spending an average of 11.2 hours listening to podcasts weekly, up from 10.5 hours last year and 9.8 hours the year before. Other findings include: 51% of podcast Super Listeners agree that they pay more attention to ads on podcasts than on other media, up from 48% last year; 53% of podcast Super Listeners agree that their opinion of a company is more positive when it is on a podcast they regularly listen to, up from 49% last year; 50% of podcast Super Listeners agree that advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach them, up from 49% last year. Also, the study finds that Super Listeners are continuing to notice an increase in the number of commercials and length of ad breaks in podcasts with 59% saying the total number of ads in the podcast they regularly listen to has increased, up from 56% last year. This year’s study saw an increase in the number of Super Listeners who believe it is important or very important to limit their exposure to advertising, up to 59% from 50% from last year. Edison Research SVP Tom Webster says, “It’s clear that podcasting’s most active consumers are both difficult to reach through traditional means of advertising, and also extremely receptive to the right message, in the right context, in their favorite podcasts. The podcast industry has an incredible opportunity to be a trusted means of access to an extremely valuable subset of consumers.” Find out more here.

iHeartMedia and Sounder Partner for Podcast Brand Safety Tools. A deal between iHeartMedia and audio intelligence platform Sounder is struck that allows iHeartMedia to “leverage Sounder’s Audio Data Cloud to provide both established and emerging podcast creators the best AI and Machine Learning tools to help them gain critical, real-time insights to accelerate growth and improve monetization.” iHeartMedia chief data officer Brian Kaminsky says, “As the leader in podcasting, the iHeartPodcast Network hosts the most diverse group of high-quality creators in the world and produces the most podcasts that generate over one million plus downloads. It’s critical that we learn from the challenges advertisers have had with video and social media to deliver safety tools and controls that allow brands to customize their campaigns and ensure that their ads will be delivered at scale in a brand safe environment. Our partnership with Sounder underscores our commitment to innovation in audio advertising and our goal of creating more meaningful connections between advertisers and listeners. In addition to simple brand safety, this partnership will also unlock brand suitability tools that will dynamically align brands with content and creator-sentiments that supports their goals and objectives.” In addition to this commercial partnership, iHeartMedia has also announced a strategic investment in Sounder, as lead investor in the company’s Series A round.

Alliance for Women in Media and Foundation Announce Board Members and Officers. The Alliance for Women in Media and the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announce their 2022 boards of directors and officers. Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency begins her second term as chair of the boards. iHeartMedia EVP Thea Mitchem joins the AWM board. Marie Tedesco, CFO, Beasley Media Group joins the AWM board, and Audacy SVP of digital audio content Tim Clarke joins the AWM Foundation board. The organizations also announce that McVay Media president Mike McVay, Radio Ink/RBR-TVBR publisher Deborah Parenti, and Katz Radio Group president Christine Travaglini continue their Foundation board terms.

TALKERS News Notes. The WAMU, Washington-produced and NPR-syndicated daily talk program “1A” will soon launch “1A Remaking America” – a “major, two-year reporting project covering the threats to America’s democracy.” The program is being funded by a grant totaling $750,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and takes place in partnership with several public media stations across the country. The project “will focus coverage on the growing political divides throughout the country.” WAMU/DCist chief content officer Monna Kashfi says, “We are very excited to embark on a new reporting initiative with our partner stations, convening the difficult but crucial conversations about where we are headed as a nation after the unprecedented reality of the past two years. The support from CPB will make it possible for us to share stories and voices from across the country in new and meaningful ways, and we are grateful for their trust in our vision.”…..A number of Audacy’s Pennsylvania radio stations have been honored with Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters 2022 Excellence in Broadcasting Awards. A few of those include all-news KYW, Philadelphia winning Outstanding Use of Digital Media for its Hurricane Ida Continuing Coverage; news/talk KDKA-AM winning Outstanding Use of Digital Media for its High School Football Game of the Week Coverage; and news/talk WILK, Wilkes-Barre winning Outstanding Radio Public Affairs Program/Program Series for its Special Edition of May 22…..Contemporary Christian network WayFM names Robyn Sedgwick general manager for Colorado and Kansas and Mike Weston as station manager – Denver. Both begin their roles on March 1 and are filling roles that were occupied by longtime Way Media regional manager Zach Cochran, who departed in December to become CEO of The Family Radio Network in Wisconsin…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Radio” program hosted by Chris Hill adds new affiliate WPMO, Pascagoula, Mississippi to its roster of stations.

Ukraine Tensions, Durham Probe, CNN Troubles, COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Inflation, Prince Andrew Settlement, and Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/16). The threat of war over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border; special counsel John Durham’s investigation into allegations of Hillary Clinton’s digital spying on Donald Trump; CNN announces that a third-party investigation found Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo violated the company’s standards; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the planned relaxing of mask mandates in numerous states, and the truckers’ protests; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the worst inflation rate in the U.S. since the 1970s; Prince Andrew agrees to settle with accuser Virginia Guiffre; and the politics behind the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

WDEL, Wilmington Seeks Talk Host. The Forever Media news/talk station is seeking a talk host. The company says, “WDEL-AM/FM is looking for the next great talk show host. We’re not looking for typical red vs. blue talk. We want a big personality who is interesting, entertaining, can focus on local issues while explaining the world we live in – and have fun! Someone who takes the news seriously, but not themselves.” Send examples of your work to: careers@forevermediainc.com.

FOX News Media Seeks Freelance Producer/News Editor. This opportunity as a freelance producer/news editor with FOX News Media is based in New York. It includes supervising the staff for FOX’s network radio news operations (terrestrial and FOX News Headlines 24/7 – Channel 115 on SiriusXM Radio). As the freelance producer/news editor you are the editorial leader, working with news anchors to craft the content and structure of a 24/7 news operation. This is fast-moving news environment! Your ability to thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven newsroom allows you to deliver top-quality segments/newscasts. You excel at multi-tasking and pay close attention to details. Your writing and editing skills are excellent and your editorial judgment is first-rate. See more about the position and apply here.

Freelance Audio Network Operator and Podcast Production Operator Position Open. This FOX News Radio position is based in New York City. The company says: “FOX News is committed to delivering news as it happens. We love what we do and we’re looking for passionate, talented people to help us lead, grow and achieve our goals. Joining the number one cable news network in America is a singular opportunity to be part of a highly successful, dynamic team that has transformed the way people get their information.” This is an opportunity for a technically strong and motivated freelance audio network operator and podcast production operator. The successful candidate will provide technical oversight over all FOX News Radio platforms including FOX News Radio’s terrestrial operation, FOX News Talk, and FOX News Headlines 24/7. See more about the position and apply here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

| December 21, 2021

Salem Media Group’s Ed Atsinger Transitions to Executive Chairman; David Santrella Rises to CEO. Current Salem Media Group CEO Edward G. Atsinger III will transition to the newly created role of executive chairman of the board of directors, effective January 1, 2022 and David Santrella – currently president of broadcast media – will become chief executive officer. At the same time, David Evans – president of digital media and publishing – is promoted to chief operating officer. Salem Media Group’s current chairman, Stuart W. Epperson, will resign from Salem’s board of directors, transitioning to the position of chairman emeritus and Stuart W. Epperson, Jr. will join the board of directors, filling the vacancy created by Mr. Epperson Senior’s resignation. In the executive chairman role, Atsinger will be chairman of the board, assuming leadership of the board of directors while providing oversight and guidance to both the CEO and COO. Atsinger will continue to be engaged full-time and focus more of his attention on macro strategy and planning, M&A, external relationships, government affairs and leadership development. He comments, “I am pleased to serve as executive chairman and to oversee the succession to the next generation of leadership of our company. I am looking forward to working with the executive team to continue Salem’s vitally important mission of serving the media needs of the audiences interested in Christian content and public policy programming with a traditional conservative focus. With Salem well-positioned for continued growth into the future, now is the right time to take the next step in implementing our long-term leadership transition. We have a tremendously talented, deep and dedicated leadership team at Salem. David Santrella and David Evans each have played a critical role in developing and executing the strategy in place today, and I am confident they have the vision, skills, experience and capabilities necessary to provide continued leadership of Salem well into the future.” Speaking about his new role, David Santrella states, “I am deeply honored to have been appointed as Salem’s next CEO. I look forward to working in close partnership with David Evans to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that exist in today’s media landscape, to further the mission of our company and to grow our business. I am blessed that I will have Ed alongside me in my new role.”

WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago Names Cisco Cotto Morning Drive Anchor. Chicago all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM appoints Cisco Cotto the morning drive news anchor, taking over for Pat Cassidy, who recently announced his retirement. Audacy Chicago regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson comments, “We are excited to welcome Cisco into morning drive. He has proven to be a true professional and teammate for the last seven years both reporting and anchoring on WBBM. Not only does he bring a bright energy but is a great communicator and strong journalist – the perfect combination as Chicagoans wake up each morning.” About his new role, Cotto says, “Pat and Felicia [Middlebrooks] spent many years as voices Chicagoans trusted to wake them up with all of the most important stories to start their day. I’ll work hard to maintain what they built. Thanks to Ron Gleason, Greg Solk, and Rachel Williamson for trusting me with such an important show on this great station. I look forward to continuing to be a small part of the award-winning news team on WBBM for many years to come.” Assuming the midday and noon business hour anchoring position is Rob Hart, who has been with WBBM since 2016.

WGAC, Augusta and Talk Host Austin Rhodes Sued for Defamation. A suit has been filed in Gwinnett Superior Court in Georgia by James Faller II who says in the complaint that WGAC, Augusta talk host Austin Rhodes defamed him through “false, malicious and defamatory” statements. Faller appears to be representing himself as the complaint is not signed by an attorney representing him. Faller alleges that Rhodes called him a “fraud,” “weirdo,” and “felon” and says Rhodes spoke with local politicians and warned them about associating with Faller. A story in the Augusta Press indicates that Faller admits to having served two years in federal prison on a felony conviction but says that he’s actually a whistleblower and he went to prison due to a government conspiracy against him. Faller also alleges that Rhodes’ refusal to allow him to appear on his radio show violates his First Amendment rights. Beasey Media Group is also named in the suit and it’s expected the company will seek to have the suit dismissed.

KHTK-AM, Sacramento Announces On-Air Changes for the New Year. A series of talent moves at Bonneville’s Sacramento sports talk KHTK-AM will take place beginning January 4, 2022. Current afternoon drive host Jason Ross will move to mornings to join Carmichael Dave. At the same time, Justin Marshall will move away from the on-air portion of his role to solely focus on his duties as assistant program director and morning show producer. The afternoon drive show will be hosted by program director Nick Cattles who will be joined by a rotating cast of co-hosts each day from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

BIA Advisory Predicts Radio Ad Spend Will Rise 5.5% to $13.54 Billion in 2022. Looking ahead to 2022, BIA Advisory Services reveals it has increased its U.S. Local Advertising Forecast for the year to $173.3 billion from its earlier estimate of $161.5 billion issued in the late summer. The 2022 forecast indicates an 11.4% increase over 2021 due to faster than anticipated growth in digital advertising and a strong political year. Traditional media ad revenue still maintains a slight advantage over digital at 50.8% of the ad spend ($88 billion), while digital media will get 49.2% of the ad spend at $85 billion. Looking at the radio industry, BIA predicts that radio ad spend will be $13.54 billion, a 5.5% increase over 2021’s $12.79 billion. For 2021, radio’s ad spend on over-the-air will be $10.91 billion with $1.88 billion coming from digital (website, streaming and mobile apps). Next year, radio ad spend is forecast to be $11.37 billion for over-the-air and $2.17 billion for digital. BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik says, “2021 has been a year of fluctuations. The first two quarters of the year saw strong growth, with some stalling in Q3 once the Delta variant appeared late summer. We’ve taken pandemic concerns plus inflation and supply chain issues into account to prepare our local media estimates and, overall, we are bullish on ad revenue for 2022.”

WTOP-FM, Washington Was Top Radio Biller for 2020. As a sidebar to the previous story about BIA Advisory Services’ Local Advertising Forecast, the company has revealed the top radio billers for last year. The top-billing station for 2020 was Bonneville’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington with $62 million. Rounding out the top 10 were: iHeartMedia’s KIIS-FM, Los Angeles and WLTW-FM, New York with $38.9 and $30.8, respectively; Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta was #4 with $30 million; Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago was #5 with $29.7 million; Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston was #6 with $29.6 million; iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles and WHTZ, New York were #7 and #8 with $29.35 million and $29.3 million, respectively; Audacy’s all-news WINS-AM was #9 with $28.1 million and Audacy’s sports talk WFAN, New York was #10 with $28 million.

COVID-19, Build Back Better, 2022 Midterm Elections, Trump Sues NY AG, January Investigation, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, and Potter/Maxwell Trials Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20). The Omicron coronavirus variant sweeps across the U.S., the push for booster shots, and the pushback against mandates; Senator Joe Manchin’s blow to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan; Republicans savoring early predictions of taking back Congress in the 2022 midterm elections; former President Donald Trump sues New York attorney general Letitia James to prevent investigation of his businesses; the investigation into the January attack on the Capitol; Russia’s ongoing military aggression at the Ukraine border; and the trials of former police officer Kim Potter in the shooting of Daunte Wright and Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.