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Friday, April 29, 2022

| April 29, 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, “Staying Focused,” looks back at this past week of 4/25 to 4/29. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSMatthew B. Harrison, media attorney/associate publisher, TALKERSGregg Stebben, correspondent, beamz.live; Bill Brady, talk show host/owner, KFNX, Phoenix; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  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; KQSP, Minneapolis; 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.

 

Bill Cameron to Host Weekly Show for WLS-AM, Chicago. Legendary Chicago political reporter Bill Cameron is returning to Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to produce and host the Sunday radio program and podcast “Take 1 with Bill Cameron.” The program will debut from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on May 1 featuring Cameron’s unedited interviews with Chicago newsmakers and discussions about local breaking news. His first guest is Senator Dick Durbin. Cameron, who retired from full-time reporting in August 2021 after more than 50 years of covering Chicago politics, says, “It’s impossible to walk away from Chicago. This is the city with politics that wouldn’t be believable in a movie script, architecture that architects worldwide come to study, Nobel Prize-winning intellectuals, nationally renowned restaurants, performing arts, and museums, eight professional sports teams that alternately thrill and confound diehard fans, and more than 200 diverse neighborhoods in 78 community areas. ‘Take 1 with Bill Cameron’ is the kind of program ideally suited to radio. Ask a question, get out of the way, don’t interrupt, and let interesting people tell their stories – no sound bites, no spin, no shouting, no editing.” WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “We are delighted to welcome back Bill Cameron to ‘the Big 89.’ The news doesn’t stop and neither does Bill.”

 

Good Karma Brands Unveils Apps for New York and Los Angeles Stations. The two newest sports talk stations in the Good Karma Brands stable – ESPN Los Angeles and ESPN New York – are getting their own apps. The company announces the new apps “offer fans the opportunity to listen to all shows and content with limited recorded commercials.” ESPN LA SVP and market manager Sam Pines says, “It is a priority to invest in our fans and partners, and by creating a one-tap-to-listen app, we are able to deliver shows and content for free to fans across the country. The easily accessible content will include all of fans’ favorite ESPN LA voices.” ESPN New York market manager Vinny DiMarco adds, “We are continuing to invest in our fans and deliver best-in-class content at their convenience. Whether it’s hearing your favorite 98.7 ESPN host or live games, you’ll be able to listen anytime and anywhere.” Earlier this year, sports media and marketing company Good Karma Brands acquired ESPN LA 710 AM and ESPN 1050 AM in New York, as well as the agreement to perform ESPN’s obligations under the Local Marketing Agreement for 98.7 ESPN in New York.

 

Broadcasters Foundation of America Presents Leadership Awards. On Wednesday morning (4/27), the Broadcasters Foundation of America closed the NAB Show in Las Vegas by honoring several industry leaders at its annual Leadership Awards breakfast. The Leadership Award is presented by the Broadcasters Foundation annually to industry leaders who have made an impact on the broadcast industry and in their local communities. This year’s honorees are: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO, Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, retired, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton, retired, EVP, Media Relations, National Association of Broadcasters. Gordon Smith, former U.S. Senator and special advisor to the NAB, was honored with the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award, which is presented annually to a broadcast luminary who has made an impact on the industry through innovation, entrepreneurship, issue advocacy, community service, and philanthropy. Pictured above are (from l-r): Tim McCarthy, co-president of the Broadcasters Foundation and Scott Herman, chairman of Broadcasters Foundation, Byron Allen, Pierre Bouvard, Christine Travaglini, Dennis Wharton, Ralph Oakley, and Gordon Smith.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Cablefax publishes its Top 100 Power Players of the cable industry and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy is honored with inclusion on the list. Cablefax says its chart represents “exceptional leaders [who] have grown their organizations through a pandemic, rising inflation, M&A, an influx of streaming services and general uncertainty without ever dropping the ball.”…..Talk radio host Simon Conway is adding another gig to his already busy spring work schedule. Conway – heard in afternoon drive on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines; WMT, Cedar Rapids; and WOC, Davenport, Iowa – has been filling in on Bud Hedinger’s morning show on WFLF, Orlando since March 24. This weekend, he’ll be hosting the Premiere Networks-syndicated talk show, “The Weekend.”…..iHeartRadio and 23andMe are debuting season three of the podcast “Spit,” that features a different guest podcast creator on each program diving into genetics, DNA, health and how it all ties together. Each host shows how knowledge of our DNA is a powerful tool in living our healthiest lives. Season three explores how specific information about our DNA can change our lives.

 

The Economy Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 25-29. The economy, including the sinking value of tech stocks, the high price of food and gasoline, and predictions of a major recession came together as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the reactions on Wall Street and by the public, followed by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War and U.S. foreign policy 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, March 8, 2022

| March 8, 2022

Pines and DiMarco to Lead Good Karma Brands’ Los Angeles and New York Sports Talkers. Two radio executives are being named to market manager roles with Good Karma Brands’ newly acquired sports talk stations in Los Angeles and New York City. The company announces that GKB partner and SVP Sam Pines will serve as market manager for KSPN-AM “ESPN Los Angeles” and former ESPN Audio senior director of sales Vinny DiMarco will hold the same position for WEPN-AM “ESPN New York.” Good Karma Brands founder and CEO Craig Karmazin says, “I couldn’t be more excited to have both Sam and Vinny in their respective roles. Sam has distinguished himself as a leader both inside and outside the company and will bring creativity and take a relationship-focused and marketing savvy approach to ‘ESPN Los Angeles.’ Vinny’s background at ‘ESPN New York’ and his relationships within New York City and throughout both Good Karma and ESPN make him a well-liked and respected leader who will keep teammates, advertising partners and our fans at the forefront of all that we do and achieve.” Pines joined Good Karma Brands in 2000, and since 2006 has led ESPN Cleveland as a market manager and sales manager. DiMarco joins Good Karma Brands from ESPN, where he managed multi-market, multi-platform sales across ESPN radio affiliates, and oversaw emerging categories, including sports betting and cryptocurrency. He started his ESPN career at ESPN New York as general sales manager.

 

JVC Broadcasting Adds New Programming to ‘Florida Man Radio’ Stations. New talent join JVC Broadcasting’s “Florida Man Radio” network in Orlando (WDYZ-AM/W288CJ/WOTW-HD3) and Fort Walton Beach (WZLB-FM). “Florida Man Radio” adds Orlando radio veteran Lil’ Shawn as co-host and producer of late morning program “The Justin Clark Show.” Westwood One’s “The Dan Bongino Show” is added to the lineup in Orlando and Compass Media Networks’ “Markley, Van Camp, and Robbins” moves from evenings to middays in Fort Walton Beach. Lil’ Shawn served for 20 years with Cox Media Group at CHR WPYO, Orlando. JVC Florida director of programming Stevie Demann says, “As this unique radio station continues to grow exponentially, we will always look for exciting new ways to deliver Florida, America, and the world’s most ‘unfiltered and unafraid’ content. Lil’ Shawn brings a unique and relatable perspective on local and national events to ‘The Justin Clark Show,’ Dan Bongino’s connections and experience in the national political landscape gives our listeners exclusive access and opinions into politics and social conversation, and ‘The MVR Show’ in Fort Walton Beach is such a fun and informative show to listen to!” JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo adds, “The great talent and notoriety of our hosts has given our audiences true personality-driven talk radio. ‘Florida Man Radio’ continues to fulfill its promise of delivering humorous, topical, and compelling discussions on the radio that everyone can enjoy.”

 

Bonneville Rebrands KIRO-AM as ‘Seattle Sports.’ Sports talk outlet KIRO-AM, Seattle is leaving behind its “710 ESPN Seattle” moniker and is rebranding as “Seattle Sports.” Bonneville International says, “The flagship home of the Mariners and Seahawks will still feature the same great insider content and programming, now with a new name showcasing the commitment to the best in local Seattle Sports.” The station will continue to be the exclusive ESPN affiliate in the Seattle market and home to the Seattle Sports Radio Network. Bonneville Seattle SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “Our focus and investment has always been live and local. We are more than a radio station. We are ‘Seattle Sports,’ a content creator that distributes the best in Seattle sports across multiple platforms.”

 

Broadcasters Foundation of America Breakfast Set for April 27. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the date and place for its annual Breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas will be April 27 at 7:00 am in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel. During the Breakfast, the Broadcasters Foundation will present the Leadership Awards to individuals in recognition of their career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large. This year, they will be: Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO of Allen Media Group; Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer, Cumulus Media; Ralph Oakley, retired, president and CEO, Quincy Media; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group; and Dennis Wharton retired EVP, media relations, NAB. At the Breakfast, former NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith will receive the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Music and talk show personality Zach Sang is launching a new, live streaming program on Amazon’s new Amp service. After his recent exit from Westwood One, Sang has partnered with OBB Media for a new show produced by its audio division OBB Sound in association with FanMade Inc. A press release says Sang is “taking an ambitious next step to create a more social music and talk show designed for Gen-Z.” He’ll also release a premium interview-of-record as a weekly podcast and full video on his YouTube channel.…..Radio syndicator Salem Radio Network becomes a client of Reatro Ventures and will use the company’s ARC software to research, analyze, sign and maintain affiliate deals across their lineup. ARC is a full-service media research platform providing detailed station and personnel information, revenue analysis, a full CRM, as well as Nielsen data for every radio broadcast signal across America…..iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question-and-answer session during Deutsche Bank’s 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Florida on March 15 at 2:50 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.

Russia-Ukraine War, Financial Markets/Gas Prices/Inflation, COVID-19/Florida Child Vax Policy, Anti-Lynching Act, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Brown Confirmation Process Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7). The ongoing Russian attack on the Ukraine and the rest of the world’s response to it; financial markets roiled by the Ukraine war, the soaring price of gasoline at the pump and the continuing high retail prices for consumer goods; the falling rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the loosening of mask mandates, and Florida’s bucking the CDC to recommend children not get vaccinated; the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act makes lynching a federal hate crime; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the Republican strategy for the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

 

FOX News Media Seeks Freelance Radio Anchor. This New York-based position with FOX News is as a freelance radio anchor to work on air for FOX News Radio Network/FOX News Headlines 24/7 Sirius XM Channel 115. In this role, you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top-notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a day’s notice. See more about this position and apply here.

 

FOX News Audio Looking for Podcast Producer. This is also a New York-based position with FOX News Audio as a podcast producer to be part of the fast-paced and growing FOX News Podcast Network. This position’s responsibility will be to develop ideas, pitch stories, and work with FOX News Channel talent in crafting daily and weekly podcasts. They will direct bookings, edit shows for broadcast, and work with production teams to create high-quality products every day. In addition to their production duties, they will also lead creative on social media posts and website write-ups to promote the products. See more about this position and apply here.

Monday, December 6, 2021

| December 6, 2021

Monday Memo: Humans’ Hubris. With “data now undeniable” about two super-human threats, media continue sending mixed messages instead of what consultant Holland Cooke calls “survival information.” And in this week’s column, he blames corporate cost cuts for confusion broadcasters are causing, and suggests how stations can “earn a reputation, get quoted, drive clicks, and sell sponsorships.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Inspect What You Expect. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that to “inspect what you expect” is “still one of the foundations of sales, sales management, and beyond. How about in your personal sales work? Do you inspect what you expect of yourself?” In today’s column, Lapa shares a quick study guide in how the “better-change-more” system works. Read it here.

Round Three of November PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 2021 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 November 2021 sweep covered October 14 – November 10. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM soars to the #2 rank after climbing 1.6 share for a 7.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) finish while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KEX is flat at a 3.1 share but falls to the #16 rank. Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is up six-tenths for a 4.5 share finish and climbs to the #8 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento continues in the #1 rank after tacking on five-tenths for a 9.1 share finish. In Salt Lake City, Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM remains in the #1 spot even though it shed 2.4 shares for a 7.5 share finish while iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KNRS-AM/FM added four-tenths for a 7.2 share good for the #2 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets (as well as the first two rounds) here.

Amy Crossman to Lead ESPN Cleveland. Sales and management pro Amy Crossman is promoted to market manager for Good Karma Brands’ ESPN Cleveland, taking over for Sam Pines who rises to SVP within the organization. Crossman most recently served as director of sales & marketing. In this new role, Crossman will oversee all content, marketing, and sales strategy for ESPN Cleveland and The Land on Demand. She says, “I appreciate the trust Sam Pines and the Good Karma Brands’ leadership team has put in me to lead and continue to grow a legacy brand. ESPN Cleveland has a passionate fanbase, loyal advertising partners and a dedicated team that we will continue to build in 2021 and beyond.” Pines says, “Amy embodies Good Karm Brands’ core values and takes a marketing first approach for our fans, advertising partners and teammates. She directly impacted our growth during a difficult and unique two years. I am excited for the future of ESPN Cleveland and our continued growth with Amy as Market Manager.”

Third Annual Podcast Super Listener Study Results to Be Revealed. On December 15, the results of the third annual Super Listeners study will be revealed during a webinar from Edison Research, iHeartMedia and Ad Results Media. The press release states that “Super Listeners” listen to five or more hours of podcasts weekly and are the people most likely to hear podcasting ads, and to have an opinion about them. Attendees will get an exclusive look at those who spend the most time listening to podcasts, their attitudes towards podcast advertising, and how they view podcasting in the greater media landscape. This year’s in-depth analysis of podcast super listeners further explores the perceptions of podcast advertising with specific insights on how super listeners feel about the number of ads in podcasts and the length of ad breaks; attitudes about host-read ads versus pre-recorded ads versus sponsorships; how podcast advertising affects intent to purchase and other brand fit measures; and ad-skipping behavior. You can register for the webinar here.

NuVoodoo: Omicron Raises Concern About COVID. According to the results of a recent NuVoodoo Media Services Quick Turn Study on Americans’ initial perceptions of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, among people 18-64, 65% report being at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19, with nearly 1 in 5 who also report having had a booster shot. Of those surveyed who are either undecided, intend to get jabbed but haven’t yet done so, or who have no plans to get the shot, more than one-third of the study sample are still not vaccinated. Geographically, NuVoodoo found that respondents from the U.S. Midwest and South lag the rest of the country in total levels of inoculation but lead with better than 1 in 5 who do not intend to get vaccinated. NuVoodoo president Carolyn Gilbert comments, “The massive Omicron media coverage over the past few days has led to an overall increase in concern about COVID. It’s one-in-four in our sample overall, but increased concern among the vaccinated (29%) nearly doubles the concern among those who have not received their shot (17%). It may not seem intuitive based on the regional breakouts shown earlier, but increased concern since news of Omicron broke is most pronounced in the less-vaccinated South (28%), eclipsing concerns even in the highly vaccinated Northeastern U.S. (25%).” You can see more here.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant, CNN Fires Chris Cuomo, SCOTUS Abortion Arguments, Michigan School Shooting Case, January 6 Investigation, Chinese Military Aggression, Russia-Ukraine Concerns, and Bob Dole Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the new Omicron variant; CNN fires Chris Cuomo as it investigates his role in protecting his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the challenge to Mississippi’s 2018 restrictive abortion law; the twists and turns in the deadly Michigan school shooting; the House investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and witnesses pleading “the Fifth”; China’s ongoing military build-up and aggression toward Taiwan; the concern over reports of Russian troops amassing at the Ukraine border; and former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole dies at 98 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, August 14, 2020

| August 14, 2020

Pandemic-Related Layoffs At KQED. Twenty staff members at KQED Inc. San Francisco public radio news/talk KQED-FM and PBS affiliate KQED-TV have become layoff victims, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. That represents more than 5% of KQED’s workforce. Among those known to be affected are a full-time limited term journalist and two temporary members of the science team. In a communication to staffers, president/chief executive officer Michael Isip notes that some employees are having their hours reduced and those in leadership roles are taking a 12% slash in pay. Furthermore, “non-essential” staffers will be required to take four-day furloughs at the very end of this year and immediately after July 4th (in 2021). As of October 1, KQED will drop its employer match of 403(b) contributions; there won’t be any salary increases the rest of this calendar year. Laid-off employees though are welcome to apply for any future openings. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 sweep, KQED-FM ranks second in San Francisco (7.4, 6+) and second, as well, in San Jose (6.6, 6+).

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM in Washington, DC.  This new episode titled “Momala Kamala!” looks back at this past week of August 10-14, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSErick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta / independent Georgia statewide network; Michael Medved, talk show host, KTTH, Seattle / CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pat McCrory, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte / former Governor of North Carolina; Steve Weisman, founder, Scamicide.com / law professor, Bentley University; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio 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 WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in 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.

Entercom, Good Karma Brands, Browns Extend Partnership. As part of the deal between Entercom Cleveland and the NFL’s Browns, sports talk WKRK “92.3 The Fan” and co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” will continue serving as FM radio flagships of the 26-station University Hospitals Cleveland Browns Radio Network. They have been in that capacity since 2013. The team’s AM key station is Good Karma Brands’ sports talk WKNR “850 ESPN Cleveland.” Entercom Cleveland senior vice president/market manager Tom Herschel comments, “With football season right around the corner, we’re excited to continue delivering premier coverage of the Browns to Cleveland’s biggest sports fans on two of our market-leading stations. We value our long-standing partnership with the Cleveland Browns and look forward to many more seasons as the flagship radio stations of the team.” Good Karma Brands vice president and Cleveland market manager Sam Pines states, “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the Cleveland Browns and Entercom. The power of live sports, particularly Cleveland Browns football, is baked into the fabric of the city and ‘850 ESPN Cleveland.’ We look forward to supporting and being a partner of the Browns in the years ahead.” Cleveland Browns executive vice president and chief operating officer Dave Jenkins notes, “Through our partnership with Entercom and Good Karma Brands, we have incredible opportunities and resources to consistently provide our fans with compelling radio programming on game days and throughout the year. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Entercom and Good Karma Brands to bring our fans even closer to our players, coaches, and entire team. We are excited to continue to produce these shows with them in the years to come.” Over and above gameday coverage, WKRK morning show talent Ken Carman and former NFL player Je’Rod Cherry host a one-hour (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm) Wednesday night “Cleveland Browns Preview Show.” In addition, Browns senior media broadcaster Nathan Zegura and Beau Bishop will chat with Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski on “The Kevin Stefanski Show,” each Thursday evening (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm).

PPM Analysis: The News Format. In the first of a four-part series of extensive recaps of the July 2020 survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian highlights the performance of the all-news format. Right off the bat, there is a bit of a statistical oddity: Precisely mirroring June’s stats, 50% of stations in our sample experience month-to-month erosion; 44% improve; and 6% remain steady. While the percentages are identical in back-to-back sweeps, there were only a few duplications by station. Specifically, only iHeartMedia Boston news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM (+.7 and +.1, 6+) and Sinclair Broadcast Group Seattle’s KOMO (+.2 and +.3, 6+) notch increases both times. Regressing in June and July are Entercom-owned WINS in both New York (-.7 and -.4, 6+) and Long Island (-.1 and -.2, 6+); co-owned business news WDCH (Baltimore report, -.3 both times, 6+); and KCBS-AM (San Jose sweep, -.2 and -.9, 6+). A whopping 81% of all-news stations post July 2019 – July 2020 growth. Gaining +2.2 year-to-year are Entercom siblings KCBS-AM, San Francisco (6.1 – 8.3, second to first, 6+) and WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (4.8 – 7.0, fourth to first, 6+). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Audio Industry’s Unique Opportunity. In a presentation last week to Radio Advertising Bureau members, MediaVillage founder Jack Myers opined that radio broadcasters need to play up their local ties. According to Myers, “Radio has an opportunity to recreate unique marketing opportunities on localism and content and to rebuild its competitive position.” Many in the ad community may not be familiar with audio’s evolving story. The industry is a relatively new space for some of them, as according to The Myers Report data, 62% of media professionals have less than eight years’ industry experience and brand managers spend just 2% of their time on media. “As an industry, we have to take a stand for increasing the importance of media decisions and the medium is the message,” Myers notes. Audio sellers, he suggests, should communicate positive attributes. “At the top of the list is radio and digital audio’s trust and reliability. Audio is a brand-safe environment where companies know exactly where their ads will run and select the content or personalities they’ll be associated with. Radio and audio need to stump for a larger slice of ad budgets and creative spending. To do that, play up all the opportunities that radio can deliver, including both local over-the-air and digital audio, and to reach diverse audiences, including minorities and consumers 55-plus.” Forecasts from The Myers Report are suggesting that this year’s total ad spending will fall between 14% and 20%, compared to 2019 levels. Myers projects the ad market will not begin a meaningful recovery until 2022. Audio is suffering major revenue losses, with year-over-year spending down 20% to 25%. Those declines, however, are in line with local TV, cable, and broadcast networks. As ad markets slowly recover, Myers admonishes radio and audio companies to invest in education within their organizations and externally. “Companies that invest significantly in education and rethink their PR and promotional output in an educational context will be the next generation of leaders.”

TALKERS News Notes. Progressing from swing and weekends at Hearst Radio Baltimore news/talk WBAL “News Radio 1090 & FM 101.5” is Torrey Snow, who takes over afternoon drive duties (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm). WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Torrey’s deep knowledge of Baltimore, Maryland, and his thoughtful viewpoint on the current issues of importance are valuable additions to WBAL. Listeners can expect a spirited examination of topics from all angles, along with late-breaking news, weather and traffic.” Portugal-born/Boise, Idaho-raised Snow relocated to Maryland 14 years ago. The president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of Maryland, Snow was named Anne Arundel County’s “Republican Man of the Year” in 2018. He was appointed to the Maryland Commission of African-American History and Culture and makes his WBAL PM drive debut today (Friday, 8/14) … Given that the coronavirus wiped up this year’s “March Madness,” Fox Sports Radio is countering with a “Basketball Bracket Challenge” focused on the NBA playoffs. The challenge debuts tonight (Friday, 8/14) after the final regular-season game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. Listeners will compete against each other, as well as against FSR’s Colin Cowherd, Clay Travis, Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard, Rob Parker, R.J. Bell, Jason Smith, Mike Harmon, and Ben Maller. Up for grabs is the chance to win a Westinghouse 50” Roku TV. Fox Sports Radio vice president of sports programming Scott Shapiro declares, “We all have bracket envy since the tournament was robbed from us in March. So we thought why not give sports fans what they want – a way to compete against our hosts and fellow listeners in a basketball bracket.” Brackets must be submitted prior to tipoff of the first playoff game (next Monday, 8/17) at 12:59 pm (ET).

Kamala Harris/Mail-in Ballots/School Opening Challenges are the Top News/Talk Stories for this past week of August 10-14.   The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top 10 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 entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Following a 28-year run at WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1,” Kayleigh Kriss exits the Alpha Media Canton (Ohio) hot AC – victim of coronavirus-related cutbacks. Alpha Media Canton general manager Larry Gawthrop comments, “While the effects of COVID-19 created some tough decisions for us, one thing is for certain: Kayleigh Kriss will forever be part of the legacy of WHBC-FM. For 28 years, she endured multiple owners, managers and musical directions; she played just about every song ever recorded. Kayleigh is a true professional and I have no doubt her career will continue to be a success no matter which side of the mic she’s on.” Kriss began in the station’s promotion department in 1992 and became a member of the on-air staff in 1997. She was furloughed four months ago and was officially let go earlier this month … Former director of sales/general sales manager for Radio One Charlotte, Michael Taylor, is named general manager /sales manager for cross-town Core Radio Group urban contemporary WGIV “Streetz 103.3 & 100.5.” Core Radio Group president/chief executive officer Steve Hegwood comments, “I am extremely pleased to have Michael Taylor lead our Charlotte team to victory. He brings the experience, relationships, and successful proven track record to our company.” Taylor notes, “I have been watching and paying attention to the growth of Core Radio Group and the ‘Streetz’ brand for many years. I am extremely impressed with their perseverance and success. Steve Hegwood is focused and determined – I am honored to join his team.” Taylor’s background includes account manager stops in Philadelphia (WPHI); Raleigh (WZZU and WQOK); and Charlotte (WPEG) … Tonight at 9:00 pm (Friday, 8/14), iHeartMedia Philadelphia CHR WIOQ “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” and Verge Aero join forces to announce the annual “Q-102 102 Grand in the Sand” presented by Acme. “Q-102” listeners are encouraged to continue practicing social distancing while watching the drone light show from their windows and rooftops. The show will be live-streamed on WIOQ’s Instagram Live. In addition, the drone light show’s musical soundtrack will be broadcast live and synced on the station. To prevent gathering of any kind, the exact location of the drone light show will not be released to the public … Six-year Townsquare Media Albany (New York) operations manager Steve Richards exits. In addition to his OM duties, Richards was brand manager for adult contemporary WPBZ “103.9 The Breeze”; alternative WQSH “Alt 103.5”; and classic rock WQBK “Q-105.7.”