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Monday, June 13, 2022

| June 13, 2022

TALKERS 2022 Exceeds Expectations.  The 25th annual installment (and second pandemic-era edition) of the talk media industry’s longest-running, largest, and most important national convention – TALKERS 2022 – took place this past Friday, June 10 and by all accounts significantly exceeded expectations. It was widely hailed by many of its longtime participants as “the best ‘TALKERS’ ever!” It was presented by TALKERS in association with Hofstra University’s award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org. Some 275 passionate media professionals from all over the country traveled to the beautiful campus of Hofstra on Long Island to see, hear and meet more than 60 luminary speakers – from talk media programming, management, station ownership, syndication, sales, marketing and technology – tackle the most compelling issues, opportunities and challenges currently at play in the industry. It was a power-packed day of non-stop panels, solo addresses, fireside charts, award presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities. The TALKERS editorial staff is now sifting through hundreds of photos and hours of video preparing extensive coverage of the conference and its enormous treasure trove of content that will be appearing in TALKERS magazine for days and weeks ahead. Please stay tuned for forthcoming stories, photos and complete video coverage of all sessions. TALKERS founder and convention producer/director Michael Harrison says, “We are deeply grateful to all the attendees and sponsors as well as our colleagues at Hofstra University for making TALKERS 2022 such a rewarding and memorable experience.” Photos:  Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo playing the National Anthem during the opening ceremony (above right), and (above left) WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley interviewing FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade.

 

Monday Memo: Identify ‘Piano Movers.’ In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke asks, “What is difficult for most people but comes easy to you?” It’s a new business brainstorm for sales reps, and what HC calls “a Side-Hustle Alert for on-air talent.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Happy Father’s Day. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa wonders if your station had a sales meeting solely focused on Father’s Day. “Unlike Mother’s Day where ‘natural’ categories like flowers, candy, dinner, spa days, even jewelry make the annual target list, what did your target list look like for Father’s Day? The irony is, the National Retail Foundation projects only an $80 difference in the average gift spends between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. So how creative was your Father’s Day targeting? Was that list much different from your Christmas targeting for dad?” Read his column here.

 

NJBA President Paul Rotella’s Struggles, Courage and Imminent Victory Over Adversity.  One of the most compelling stories in the radio industry has been the personal and professional journey of New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) president Paul Rotella. He is thankfully on the mend after suffering a terrible health struggle with rare form of meningitis that took him to the brink of death. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, seeing Paul Rotella at this past Friday’s TALKERS 2022 (6/10) bravely walking with the help of a cane and enthusiastically watching, absorbing, cheering and delighting in the comradery of being with his fellow broadcasters, was SO moved that he pulled together his sources, resources and data to pay tribute to the man as quickly as possible. Harrison states, “I consider Paul Rotella to be a spectacular human being, family man, broadcaster, attorney and spokesman not only for the broadcasting community of the Garden State – but a force of nature in spreading a prideful image of the State of New Jersey, in general, across America – not always an easy task.” Harrison penned a tribute to Rotella including a remarkably candid and personal print interview with him that appears in today’s TALKERS. To read it, please click here.

 

WWO Blog: Pharmaceutical Brands Realize Benefits of AM/FM Advertising. In this week’s blog from the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group comes information from a comprehensive analysis of the pharmaceutical category that included data from Nielsen Media Impact, Nielsen’s media plan optimization tool; a MARU/Matchbox national study conducted over the course of two years from February 2020 through October 2021; and pharmaceutical ad creative testing results from the Advertising Benchmark Index. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes, says, “Pharmaceutical brands have discovered network radio, and it is one of our fastest growing categories. The big revelation for pharma brand advertising is that audio does all the heavy lifting, and the visuals are secondary. ABX creative testing reveals radio creative performs at 90% of the effectiveness of TV for 25% of the CPM.” Some of the highlights of the studies include: 1) According to Nielsen Media Impact, pharmaceutical/OTC brands see an average incremental reach increase of +38% when including AM/FM radio with TV; 2) Shifting 20% of an arthritis medication’s TV budget to AM/FM radio afforded the brand a significant reach advantage versus its competition (+29%) and increased its total share of voice from 22% to 39%; and 3) A pharmaceutical brand saw its TV reach drop -33% over a four-year period with the same spend due to the erosion of TV audiences. Shifting 30% of the October 2021 TV budget to AM/FM radio recovered the lost reach, generating a +51% lift in campaign reach. See more from the blog here.

 

Chris Williams Exits KXNO-AM/FM, Des Moines. Sports talk radio personality Chris Williams reveals via Twitter that he’s exited iHeartMedia sports talk outlet KXNO-AM/FM, Des Moines in order to focus on his family life. Williams has been serving as co-host of the afternoon drive program “The Sports Fanatics” with Ross Peterson. Williams tweeted, “When I was attending journalism school at Iowa State in the mid 2000s, my dream was to one day host a sports talk show on the iconic 1460 KXnO. For the last seven-plus years, I have had the privilege to live this dream. A lot has changed since then. I now have two beautiful daughters Cami (7) and Elyse (2), who I love more than I knew was even possible. Ross Peterson was my friend. He is now a brother who will be family forever. I recently made the decision to leave KXnO as a daily host to focus on my young family. The 3-6 time slot is an honor to fill, but also takes a major toll on family when you have young kids (especially when you have aspirations to be the best little league softball coach in the metro). I leave KXnO excited to be a better husband, son, friend and human being.”

 

The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Russia-Ukraine War, Gun Legislation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Western Heat-Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring price of gasoline and food, sinking tech stocks, and worries about a recession; today’s scheduled second January 6 Committee hearing; Russia’s advances in the war in Ukraine and the conflict’s effect on the world economy; the attempts at bi-partisan gun legislation; the ousting of San Francisco’s progressive DA, the November midterm elections, and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the Western heatwave and drought were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Identify ‘Piano Movers’

| June 13, 2022

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Question for sales reps…and Side-Hustle Alert for talent: What is difficult for most people but comes easy to you?

  • Example: Piano movers. My brother-in-law, an engineer with a 4-digit IQ, moved one from room-to-room at home; and it was an intricate daylong maneuver involving skateboards and cinderblocks that no mere mortal should attempt. Somehow, he and my nephew pulled it off.
  • Example: My dentist sent me to another dentist, in the same building, for a root canal. My guy knows how to do one, and had previously done one for me in a pinch. But that doc upstairs does nothing-but. She has super-microscopic eyewear and other specialty instruments.

Read More

Monday Memo: Ask the CVS Question

| November 8, 2021

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — “Supply chain” is something CNBC talks about all day and your listeners and advertisers suffer every day.

To be useful and relatable and relevant and SOUND LOCAL – and to have listeners quoting you to each other – ask the question the CVS clerk asks when you bring what you’re buying to the counter: “Did you find everything you’re looking for?”

Read More

Monday, August 30, 2021

| August 30, 2021

Anti-Vaxxer Bernier Loses Three-Week COVID Fight. This time last week, we reported news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville afternoon drive personality Phil Valentine’s COVID-19-related death. Now, another conservative radio host who publicly spoke out against COVID-19 vaccines has died from the coronavirus: Marc Bernier, 65, passed away Saturday (8/28) after a nearly month-long battle against the virus. A Daytona Beach market fixture for more than three decades, the Rhode Island native who characterized himself as “Mr. Anti-Vax” did a morning commentary; a three-hour afternoon program; weekend shows; and specials for Southern Stone Communications news/talk WNDB “AM 1150 & FM 93.5.” The station released news of Bernier’s death on its Twitter account by stating, “It is with great sadness that [we] announce the passing of Marc Bernier, who informed and entertained listeners on WNDB for over 30 years.” After being off-the-air for a week, Bernier entered the hospital on August 7.  In an article published in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Mark Harper points out that Bernier, “interviewed countless governors, senators, mayors, sheriffs, journalists, historians and authors. He also was an outspoken opponent of vaccinations.” Sports Network International vice president Justin Gates co-hosted “Weekend Around the House” with Bernier and was the best man at Bernier’s wedding. Gates was quoted as saying that Bernier gave “all sides” and wouldn’t “bully, throw punches, do potshots, or anything for ratings – that’s why he [was] so popular.” A guest on Bernier’s WNDB radio show the past 15 years, Volusia County sheriff Mike Chitwood comments, “I’m numb – this is a death in the family to me. You don’t have to agree with everything a person says for them to be your friend – I don’t think a lot of people get that. [Our] off-the-air banter was priceless. A great stress reliever for me was the things we would talk about, laugh about, and the jokes we would exchange. More than anything, I will miss how funny he could be, and how we’d try to one-up each other with funny anecdotal stories.” Florida-based CBS News Radio correspondent Peter King’s first radio news job was at WNDB and included anchoring on Bernier’s afternoon show. On his Facebook page, King writes, “I enjoyed working with him and we remained in touch for a while after that. Marc was the proverbial big fish in a small pond, becoming an integral and influential force in the community and really turning himself into a cottage industry that allowed him a wonderful quality of life in Daytona Beach. Whether you agreed with his points or not, he was always interesting; engaging; well-informed; involved; and a fine broadcaster. There was always room for more than just his opinion. I’m pretty sure that he helped make a lot of money for his radio station during his 30 years there. I was saddened to read reports that he was very publicly anti-vaccine on-air and was hospitalized with COVID; I’m even more saddened by his death.” After Bernier was hospitalized, WNDB operations director Mark McKinney was uncertain if the talk host was vaccinated. According to progressive news website/online tabloid Raw Story, McKinney remarked, “If you’ve listened to his show, you’ve heard him talk about how anti-vaccine he is on the air.” In his final tweet published on July 30, Bernier wrote that the United States government was “acting like Nazis because officials were urging people to get vaccinated.” WNDB emphasizes on Twitter, “We kindly ask that privacy is given to Marc’s family during this time of grief.”

Monday Memo: Which of These 7 Mistakes Are You Making On-Air? Validating the consultant caricature, Holland Cooke ticks-off what ticks-off listeners. Most of these are not intentional on the part of the talk host but they can signal a host who is not completely prepared, doesn’t hear things through the ears of the listener, or has acquired a bunch of bad habits, probably due to a lack of coaching. Read his column here.

 

Pending Business: Checking In. You’ve noticed how so many retailers “check-in” with you after your purchase – usually via email or text – to make sure you’re happy. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about sales managers checking in with sales leads to make sure they are being served by the sales rep. He says this is not about micro-managing and most managers trust most of their reps, but there are several reasons the “Check-In” plays an important role in the sales process. Read his column here.

Dawn Stensland to Host Late Mornings at WPHT, Philadelphia. WPHT morning drive co-host Dawn Stensland is getting her own two-hour radio talk show from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon beginning September 7. She is currently co-anchor of the Audacy station’s morning drive “Rich Zeoli Show” and will continue in that role. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We’re excited to grow Dawn’s role with the station with the launch of her new midday show, where she will speak with top local newsmakers for in-depth analysis of stories that affect the Philadelphia region. Dawn’s show, along with an extra hour of Rich Zeoli, and Dom Giordano’s new program time extends our local content to nine hours, which allows us to best serve our local listeners, while continuing to deliver some of the biggest names on the national stage.” Stensland says, “I’m grateful to Rich Zeoli and his ‘army’ of loyal listeners for believing in me since I joined the show six years ago. I am so proud to work with Audacy and I’m also so thankful for their commitment to showcase a diverse collection of local voices as we engage with people across our region about the issues of the day and the news that impacts us here at home.”

KMVP-FM, Phoenix Makes AM Drive Change; Replaces ‘Doug and Wolf’ with ‘Bickley and Marotta.’ A series of programming changes at Bonneville’s Phoenix sports talk outlet KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” has the midday team of Dan Bickley (left) and Vince Marotta (right) moving to morning drive, taking over for the current morning show hosted by Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, effective September 7. Wolfley moves to middays with a new show (in addition to his current role as Arizona Cardinals radio broadcast analyst) joined by Luke Lapinski for “The Wolf and Luke Show.” Doug Franz remains with the station as he transitions to digital contributor on ArizonaSports.com. Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “I cannot say thank you enough to both Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, who along with being great broadcasters, are both first-class people that have made tremendous contributions to the Arizona Sports brand and our community.  Vice president of programming Ryan Hatch adds, “Doug and Wolf had the longest, most successful run in Valley sports radio history, and we are so appreciative of all of their great efforts over the years. But now is the time to bring a new energy to mornings with an ensemble cast that will jumpstart each day with strong opinions and plenty of laughs.” Bickley and Marotta state, “We are so pumped up to start the Valley sports conversation every morning on one of the biggest sports brands in the country. This is going to be a blast.”

WEEI/NESN Radio-Telethon Raises More than $3.8 million to Fight Cancer. The 19th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” raised more than $3.8 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Audacy sports talk outlet has been partnering with New England Sports Network to present the event since 2003 and since WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002 has raised more than $62 million for the cause. The 36-hour live broadcast took place on August 24 and 25. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Tim Clarke states, “We’re completely inspired to see the New England community from so many different walks of life come together to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s selfless mission. The annual ‘Jimmy Fund’ event is synonymous with this region and, in a year where we’ve faced adversity unlike any other, being able to unite with our audience to help strike out cancer is a true testament to our resiliency.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate station WRVA, Richmond, Virginia in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. With this addition, the Starnes Media Group program is now heard on more than 110 affiliate stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR-AM, Chicago “The Score” and WSSP-AM, Milwaukee “The Fan” brand manager Mitch Rosen is also adding the title director of operations for BetQL Network, which is providing sports betting programming to Audacy’s sports talk stations. Audacy VP of sports Matt Volk says, “Mitch Rosen has been at the forefront of all the planning, operations and execution of this seamless expansion. He has been a trusted leader and point of contact for so many important BetQL Network initiatives. We are thrilled with Mitch’s daily dedication to all of his stations, its people and Audacy.”…..Radio programmer and consultant Mike McVay is being inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame on October 16. The ceremony will take place at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington, West Virginia. McVay began his radio career at WEIF, Moundsville in 1974. He also served with WNEU, Wheeling and WCHS, Charleston…..PodcastOne announces the launch of Doug Ellin’s “Hollywood Wayz” weekly podcast and vodcast with co-host, rapper and actress BRE-Z. “Hollywood Wayz” debuts September 9. The vodcast is available on LiveXLive and YouTube. The production includes a partnership with actor and director Kevin Connolly’s Action Park Media, where the show will be recorded weekly.

Afghanistan Pullout, COVID-19, Hurricane Ida Hits Louisiana, Global Supply Chain Troubles, North Korea Re-Starts Nuclear Program, Gavin Newsom Recall, Talk Host Marc Bernier Dies from COVID-19, and Ed Asner Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The U.S.’s deadly exit from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden’s meeting the return of the slain military personnel at Dover, and the Taliban’s terrorist strategies; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the battles over mask and vaccine mandates; Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana leaving New Orleans without power; the effect COVID-19 is having on global supply chains; U.S. intelligence indicates North Korea is again producing plutonium; California Governor Gavin Newsom is on the ropes as the recall election looms; Daytona Beach talk host Marc Bernier dies after a battle with COVID-19, and actor Ed Asner dies at 91 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, April 16, 2021

| April 16, 2021

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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Bloodshed and Blood Clots,” looks back at this past week of April 12-16. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Larry Young, talk show host, WOLB, Baltimore; Michael Zwerling, talk show host / owner, KSCO, Santa Cruz; Dr. Daliah Wachs, physician / talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkGraham Mack, talk show host, Podcast Radio, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, 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; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere. Fresh survey data from Edison Research and NPR identifies six types of radio listeners, bolsters broadcasters’ top-dog-of-audio status, and arms sales reps and public radio fundraisers with powerful ammo. For example, the study finds that the heaviest users of radio are the most open to its advertising messages. Two of the six segments of listeners, “Radio Heads” and “Connection Seekers,” the groups that spend the most time with radio, are the least likely to avoid ads or sponsorship messages on AM/FM radio. Consultant Holland Cooke covered the webinar for TALKERS magazine and he points to the free multimedia download and summarizes yesterday’s debut webinar in his coverage here.

JAKIB Media Launching New Football Talk Show Starring Dan Sileo. A new football-focused sports talk radio program is debuting on April 26 featuring Dan Sileo as host and produced by JAKIB Media Partners for the JAKIB Media Network. JAKIB says “The National Football Show with Dan Sileo” will air live weekdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and will “bring the real inside stories, in-depth knowledge, and insight that only a former player, his teammates and coaches can deliver. Dan’s recent NFL posts have drawn millions of views as he often has a head start on breaking stories.” YouTube will be the exclusive video platform. This new show is in addition to the nightly, three-hour “Dan Sileo Show” airing in Dallas, Miami, Minneapolis, across the USA Radio Network and on Dansileoshow.com. JAKIB Media founder Joe Krause says, “Dan Sileo will provide hard-core football content to a local, regional and national fan base that craves conversation about the game. So far in 2021, JAKIB Media has amassed over 5 million minutes of content consumption by the public on our digital platform. With Dan Sileo joining the team, we expect to double that number.”

Sun Broadcast Group Names JJ Hutton Media Research Analyst. Marketing and research pro Joseph Hutton Jr. joins Sun Broadcast Group as media research analyst and affiliate support. Hutton most recently served with GroupM as a national audio buyer. In his role with SBG, Hutton will provide competitive positioning, consumer insights, and creative strategy to assist both clients and agencies. SBG corporate research director Anny Mansfield says, “With his background in buying audio for Group M, JJ will be able to help us pinpoint the relevant research that buyers are looking for. I’m looking forward to working with him as we develop sales presentations for our advertisers.” Sun Broadcast Group COO Danno Wolkoff adds, “JJ is the final piece we were looking for to complete Sun’s dream team for sales, planning, and research. His wealth of knowledge and insight into the advertising needs of clients will help our sales team deliver results each and every time for the buyers.”

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Opens Applications for 2021 Scholarship Program. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation scholarship program for the 2021 fall semester is now accepting applications. AWMF is partnering with the Ford Motor Company Fund, The Loreen Arbus Foundation, and NCTA – The Internet and Television Association, recognizing and supporting future generations of women in media with more than $20,000 in scholarships awarded annually. AWMF board chair Heather Cohen says, “For years, these generous partners have stood with AWMF to support, encourage, and promote women in the media industry at every level, and we are proud to continue that tradition of advancing women in media. Now, more than ever, we are proud to provide deserving young women the opportunity to complete their education and meet their full potential.” The four scholarship opportunities for this fall include: 1) Ford Emerging Voices Scholarship, a $5,000 scholarship for a student pursuing a media career as a producer, writer, director or on the business side of media companies in areas such as television, radio, digital media, streaming, publishing, advertising, and production; 2) Ford Empowering America Scholarship, a $5,000 scholarship for a winning student pursuing a media career as talent in front of the camera or microphone in an area such as television, radio, or digital media; 3) Loreen Arbus Foundation & AWMF Scholarship, that focuses on the needs, achievements, contributions, and stories of citizens with disabilities and provides a deserving female communications/media undergraduate or graduate student with a scholarship to their educational institution for $2,500 and a ticket to attend an upcoming AWM event; and 4) NCTA & AWMF Scholarship, that allows a deserving female communications/media undergraduate or graduate student to create an original piece (essay, digital short, video, animation, multi-media or other concept chosen by the student) that will be featured in NCTA and AWMF media distribution channels. In addition, the chosen student will receive a scholarship to their educational institution for $5,000 and a ticket to attend an upcoming AWM event. Learn more about the AWMF scholarship opportunities and to apply here. Scholarship materials are due by June 11, 2021.

TALKERS News Notes. The firm Research Director, Inc. is celebrating is 30th anniversary serving the radio industry. The company says, “Founded during the analog age in the basement of an Arlington, Virginia home, Research Director, Inc. has served over 800 radio stations, providing both top-notch sales and programming research and consulting services. We pride ourselves on our innovative roster of proprietary reports, custom sales materials, and unrivaled experience, which have enabled our clients to maximize both ratings and revenue over the years.” Founding partner Marc Greenspan says, “I’d like to express my appreciation to the thousands of customers we’ve worked with over this period. I hope they’ve learned as much working with us as we’ve learned from them. I’m also deeply appreciative of our team of uniquely experienced, dedicated professionals.”…..The University of Florida and Seven Bridges Radio LLC strike a deal for sports talk WJXL-AM/FM “1010XL/92.5 FM” to air Gators play-by-play. Seven Bridges says, “‘1010XL/92.5 FM,’ the flagship station of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, has become the home for Gators athletics, beginning with this week’s airing of Gator baseball games as well as the two-hour Florida football spring special. The four-year arrangement will make ‘1010XL/92.5 FM’ the home for all Gators football and men’s basketball games, as well as conference and other selected baseball games, plus all Gators talk shows.”…..SiriusXM announces its season-long coverage for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, featuring live broadcasts of every race all season long, as well as shows and podcasts hosted by active drivers. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday (4/18). SiriusXM listeners will have access to the live call of this race and every one of the 17 events on the INDYCAR calendar, from the green flag through the finish, including the Indianapolis 500 on May 30…..iHeartMedia Nashville’s radio five radio stations – including news/talk WLAC-AM/W252CM – unveils the Inaugural Bourbon & Bubbles Fest that will take place on May 22 and will benefit Friends of Franklin Parks. Station air personalities will host the event and will encourage listeners to attend and enjoy tastings of bourbon, all kinds of bubbles including sparkling wine as well beer, and a variety of other wine and spirits that will be on hand for tastings.

CBS News Launches Earth Day Special Series. The title of the series from CBS News is, “EYE ON EARTH: OUR PLANET IN PERIL,” and is “a new division-wide initiative to deliver incisive reporting, exploring all aspects of climate change and efforts to heal the planet.” The series launches Monday (4/19) on all CBS platforms. Jeff Berardelli leads the five-part radio series reporting on several of the planet’s climate change “tipping points” and the solutions, both controversial and practical, being considered to save the earth, as well as a new threat to global sea levels. Berardelli will look at new evidence that a key glacier in Antarctica may be near the point of no return. Reports will be featured all week in CBS News Radio’s top-of-the-hour broadcasts, the “CBS WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP” and the “CBS NEWS WEEKEND ROUNDUP.” And to round out the week and mark Earth Day, on April 23, CBS Audio presents a special edition of the weekly show “AMERICA: CHANGED FOREVER,” highlighting CBS News’ extensive reporting on climate change. CBS Audio’s weekly podcast “THE DEBRIEF,” hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett, is airing a special two-part audio documentary on climate change and its effects on both societies and our planet. In a new episode of “THE TAKEOUT,” Major Garrett speaks with staff writer for The New Yorker and author of the book The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert about climate change’s role in pushing the planet to being “on the verge of another mass extinction.”

Industry Memorial Tribute to the Late Barry Farber Set for May 5. The family of Barry Farber, in association with TALKERS magazine, is presenting an industry memorial tribute to the legendary radio talk show host on May 5 via Zoom. The virtual event will mark the first anniversary of his passing and the 91st anniversary of his birth. Farber, considered by industry observers to be one of the greatest talk radio hosts of all time, as well as one of the genre’s most influential pioneers, passed away on May 6, 2020 – one day after his 90th birthday. The event will consist of a series of personal remembrances delivered by a select panel of family, friends and radio industry colleagues. It will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing as part of a larger display of memories and Farber history being developed for a special commemorative website devoted to the broadcaster. Barry Farber’s on-air career was launched in 1960 and continued all the way to his death in 2020. It included his hosting major shows on such legendary New York outlets as WINS, WOR, and WMCA. He also was syndicated by ABC Radio Networks and Daynet. His final shows were carried by CRN Digital Talk Radio Network. According to The New York Times, at the time of his death he was the longest continually running radio host. Farber was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2014 and is a past recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award among many other honors. He was the author of three books and a student of 26 languages. The memorial event will take place on Zoom on Wednesday, May 5 between 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm and be hosted by Michael Harrison. Invitations to join in the Zoom event will be limited. For more information about participating please email info@talkers.com. Stay tuned to Talkers.com for updates as they develop.

COVID-19 Variants, Vaccines, Stats & Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 12-16. The numerous aspects of COVID-19 – the variants, vaccines, statistics and the politics – combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was race relations and police reform with the shooting death of Daunte Wright in suburban Minneapolis and the ongoing trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Tied at #3 were the issues of gun control and changes in voting laws in several states. 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.