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Thursday, April 21, 2022

| April 21, 2022

Bill O’ Reilly is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform news/talk media star and best-selling author Bill O’ Reilly is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” O’ Reilly’s 40-plus year career has been colorful, controversial, and continues to be consequential. After gaining prominence as an anchor for the mainstream TV networks ABC and CBS, he served as host of the groundbreaking celebrity gossip entertainment-industry show, “Inside Edition,” and then evolved into politics going on to be the top-rated host at FOX News Channel for approximately two decades. Today, his short-form commentaries, syndicated by Key Networks, are heard on hundreds of news/talk radio stations across the nation and he’s currently in the process of launching a new nightly, long-form syndicated program titled, “No Spin News.” Harrison and O’ Reilly discuss the state and future of modern era news/talk media in addition to looking back at what it was like for the independent-minded talker to co-host and partner with former President Donald Trump on his recent four-city “History Tour.” Be sure to meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2022 conference at Hofstra University on Friday, June 10. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here.

 

Sean Hannity Becomes Longest-Running Primetime Cable News Host. According to FOX News Channel, primetime superstar Sean Hannity notches another industry milestone as he tops the late Larry King to assume the mantle of the longest-running primetime cable news host in U.S. television history. Today (4/21), marks 25 consecutive years, six months, and 15 days at the helm of a primetime cable news program – beating King’s run on CNN. Hannity has been a staple of FNC’s primetime lineup since the launch of the network in 1996. He was co-host of “Hannity & Colmes (with the late Alan Colmes) that debuted on October 7, 1996. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Sean’s authenticity and insightful commentary have created one of the most enduring connections with our audience and it’s been an honor to watch him over the years. A FOX News original, he has helped innovate the industry, and we are incredibly proud of his extraordinary success.” Hannity comments, “I am extremely grateful to FOX News Media and to our loyal, dedicated viewers whom I am proud to serve every night.”

 

WHAM/WSYR Talk Host Bob Lonsberry Pens Blog Post About Personal Mental Health. Longtime WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk host Bob Lonsberry’s April 20 post to his blog reveals a man searching for help to deal with mental health issues he confesses have plagued him his entire life. The blog doesn’t go into specific detail about his own struggles but does document to some degree his family history of mental illness, especially that which tormented his mother for most of her life. He begins the post saying, “This column is not intended to elicit sympathy or be seen as courageous. Not by any means. It is rather a report on the final desperate action of a man who has destroyed the lives of his family, hurt countless other individuals, failed at his religion, and probably devolved from narcissist to sociopath. This isn’t pretty or sweet, but neither is it manipulative or attention seeking. It’s just a column. Please, leave me the delusion that I’m a writer. And if me being nuts makes you more comfortable asking if you might be nuts, too, and maybe need some help, too, then good. That’s the point.” Read the blog post here.

 

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2022 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2022 sweep covered March 3 – March 30. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM jumps 1.4 shares for an 8.7 share (6+, weekly AQH share) finish and climbs to the #2 rank, while Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL-FM slips two-tenths for a 3.9 share finish good for the #10 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston continues its ascent, tacking on 1.1 shares to wrap the survey with a 4.7 share and the #8 rank, while sister all-news WBZ-FM slides seven-tenths to a 5.5 share and the #6 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM remains on top posting a 7.4 share to stay ranked #1. The talk in St. Louis is dominated by Audacy as heritage news/talk KMOX finishes with a 3.6 share, after shedding two-tenths, and remains ranked #11, while sister talker KFTK-FM drops eight-tenths for a 2.6 share finish good for the #15 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first round) here.

 

Meghan Ottolini Joins WEEI-FM, Boston’s ‘Merloni & Fauria’ Show. Boston sports media personality Meghan Ottolini is getting an expanded role on sports talk WEEI-FM’s “Merloni & Fauria” afternoon drive program, effective May 4. She’s been serving as a part-time host on the show since January of 2021. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Mike Thomas says, “Meghan is a rising star in this industry, and we are very excited to have her join ‘Merloni & Fauria’ each afternoon. Writing is a passion of Meghan’s and she will be able to continue to do that for our station’s website, enabling her to create can’t-miss content for Boston sports fans – both on air and online.” Ottolini most recently served as a multimedia reporter for the Boston Herald since 2017. Additionally, she was an on-air talent for NBC Sports Boston’s “Quick Slants” television program. She comments, “I’m thrilled to join WEEI and work alongside Lou [Merloni] and Christian [Fauria] delivering premier sports talk coverage in the best sports city in the country. This opportunity is such a privilege and I look forward to having a lot of fun in this next chapter of my career.”

 

The TALKERS magazine 2022 Heavy Hundred of Talk Radio Hosts is Published. The 2022 edition of TALKERS magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published. Since the early 1990s, TALKERS editors – with input from industry leaders – have compiled this annual feature created to recognize the hard-working talk radio personalities in America. TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey says of this 2022 edition, “Creating the Heavy Hundred is always a challenging task for our editorial staff. Our use of both hard and soft factors in evaluating candidates for the list only adds to the difficulty in selecting the “most important” radio talk show hosts, but it’s a project that allows us to really get a big-picture look at the key players in this format and it’s something that we take very seriously. Congratulations to all of the talk radio personalities who are recognized on this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.

 

FOX News Digital Top Performer in Multiplatform Minutes for March. According to the Comscore data for the month of March, FOX News Digital finished as the top-performing news brand in the competitive set in multiplatform minutes. FOX News Digital says this marks its fourth consecutive quarter ranking as number one in the category in the news competitive set. FOX News Digital delivered 3.5 billion total multiplatform minutes, topping closest rival CNN.com (3.35 billion). For the first quarter of 2022 (Jan.-Mar.), FOX News Digital delivered 9.2 billion total multiplatform minutes versus CNN.com’s 7.85 billion. However, In the multiplatform unique visitors metric, CNN.com was far and away on top with 136.3 million compared to FOX News Digital’s 79.2 million for March. For the first quarter, CNN.com’s multiplatform unique visitors total was 147.9 million to FOX News Digital’s 85.3 million.

 

Radio Pros Launch New Consulting Firm. The new firm is called the Smith Richards Collective and is being launched by radio executives Steve Smith and Tim Richards and digital marketing strategist Heidi McIvor-Allen. The organization says it “brings deep radio operations, programming, and digital marketing experience to radio stations and groups, with a fresh approach and innovative strategies to help stations grow their audience and revenues, while saving money.” It adds that in addition to podcast and radio talent coaching services, the Smith Richards Collective offers full-service white glove consulting for radio stations and groups, as well as an embedded full-service digital marketing agency, McIvor Marketing, which offers stations and groups a full spectrum of digital resources and support.

 

Salem New York’s ‘The Answer’ to Produce ‘The Salem Business Breakfast.’ Next Wednesday (4/27) Salem Media Group’s news/talk WNYM-AM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” is presenting “The Salem Business Breakfast” at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. It takes place from 6:00 am to 10:00 am as Joe Piscopo broadcasts the morning show live. An interactive business panel discussion will be moderated by attorney and AM 970 The Answer personality Arthur Aidala that will include: Bernie Kerik, former NYPD Police Commissioner; Steve Perillo, president & owner of Perillo Tours; Ace Watanasuparp, national director of strategic sales at Citizens Bank Home Mortgage Division & founder of Chase Restaurant Group; Jason Greene, vice president of Magniflood INC; and Melanie Landano, founder & owner of Mel’s Butcher Box.

 

TALKERS News Notes. New York City Audacy radio stations are airing the podcast episodes hosted by WCBS-FM personality Patty Steele for which she won a 2022 Gracie Award in the category National Podcast – Lifestyle Limited Series. The program is titled “The Deep 6” and the episodes that will be aired on April 24 at 6:00 am consist of her interview with her 26-year-old son Jake about his heroin addiction and his journey to recovery. Steele, a mother of three,  reveals her struggle through the ordeal that simultaneously occurred with her breast cancer diagnosis. With five years of sobriety under his belt, Jake and his mom decided it was time to make their story public with the hope of helping others. Steele comments, “It’s important that we take the stigma away from addiction issues and talk openly about what is truly affecting our children. I’m so grateful that Jake and I are in such a good place that we’re able to share our journey.” WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach states, “Patty’s conversation with her son is heartbreaking, inspiring, life-affirming, and compelling. It is one of the most important podcasts to come along in a very long time. What makes it so powerful is its authenticity. You can feel the pain and unrelenting love for her son on this very personal journey. Patty is brave beyond words to share and explore all that has happened and because her story could be any parent’s story, every parent will find a part of themselves in it.”…..Pictured at left is Salem Radio Network talk radio host Mike Gallager(left) with 16-time WWE World Champion wrestler Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair (right). Gallagher bumped into Flair while taking his first “maskless” flight since the pandemic began in 2020…..Audacy is conducting 45 volunteer events nationwide to celebrate Earth Day as part of its 1Day1Thing Sustainability Initiative. The series of events, which will engage employees across the company, aim to make a positive impact on the communities in which the company serves and the planet. Projects including tree planting, park and waterway cleanups, recycling projects and habitat restoration, among others. Audacy director of sustainability Jaimie Field says, “We pride ourselves on our relentless commitment to supporting the health and success of the communities that are at the heart of our business, and we’re thrilled to unite our teams across the country to do some good for our planet. Sustainability is a focal point of our Audacy Serves initiative, and we’re looking forward to leveraging these actions this Earth Day to make a lasting impact on our environment, both today and for generations to come.”…..Good Karma Brands president Steve Politziner has been inducted into the 45th class of the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame. Each year, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission recognizes an elite group of individuals who have made major impacts to the Palm Beach County sports landscape. By bringing ESPN to the market through the power of radio, TV and events, he helped shape Palm Beach County’s sports identity, created a home for sports fans and has provided coverage to the great sports stories, teams and athletes that make up the community.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Netflix Crash/Financial Markets/Inflation, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, DeSantis vs Disney, College Debt Forgiveness, COVID-19, Macron-Le Pen Race, and Arizona Wildfire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its ICBM test and threat of nuclear weapons use; the crash of Netflix’s stock, its effect on the financial markets and the broader issue of high gas and food prices; the battle for control of Congress in the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pushes legislation to strip Disney of its decades-old special district benefit; the Biden administration’s move to provide 50,000 students with college debt forgiveness; the ruling that cancels the air travel mask mandate and the BA.2 variant; the tight race between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen for president of France; and the raging Arizona wildfire were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

| April 12, 2022

iHeartMedia Adds New Talk Radio Outlet to the Seattle Market. Seattle market AM KPTR is now news/talk as “1090 The Patriot, Seattle’s Conservative News Talk.” iHeartMedia announces the new station and reveals it is airing Premiere Networks syndicated programming including: “Glenn Beck,” “Clay Travis & Buck Sexton,” “Sean Hannity,” and “Jesse Kelly” from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore comments, “We are proud to be launching a new station in Seattle, seeing an opportunity to bring a powerful conservative talk lineup to the airwaves. This station brings highly engaging content and information with leading talent in the conservative talk space that our listeners will gravitate towards.”

 

Joe Pags Show Gets into Seattle Market on KPTR-AM. WOAI-AM, San Antonio-based talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is part of the new Seattle news/talker KPTR-AM “1090 The Patriot.” Pags’ Compass Media Networks-syndicated “The Joe Pags Show” is airing on the new station from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Joe Pags says, “I am thrilled to bring my show to the great city of Seattle. Being part of this lineup of talk stars is a true privilege. I can’t wait to give the people of the Emerald City a place to come to voice their concerns, have some fun, and take part in important dialogue.” “The Joe Pags Show” is heard in more than 160 markets including Houston, Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.

 

iHeartMedia and the NFL’s Washington Commanders Ink Audio Partnership. The NFL’s Washington Commanders and iHeartMedia Washington DC announce a new, three-year partnership deal to be the team’s exclusive radio broadcast partner. Starting this season, the team’s games will air on classic rock WBIG-FM “BIG 100.3 FM” and be featured on the station’s website and on the iHeartRadio app. In addition to the team’s radio gameday broadcast, iHeartMedia says this partnership will offer a “robust lineup of exclusive programming across iHeartMedia D.C.’s radio stations and on the iHeartRadio App. New this season, fans will also be able to access archived radio broadcasts of the team’s games anytime via the Commanders channel on the iHeartRadio App.” iHeartMedia has no broadcast sports talk station in the market, but has four other music brands plus news/talk WWDC-HD2/W284CQ “104.7 WONK-FM” and news WUST-AM “DMV’s Black Information Network.”

 

NAB’s Michelle Duke Honored with MIW’s Trailblazer Award. The recipient of this year’s MIW Frances Preston Trailblazer Award from Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc. is Michelle Duke, president, NAB Leadership Foundation and chief diversity officer. The MIW Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, champions and creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers. In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of BMI. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “What a joy to recognize and celebrate Michelle’s many accomplishments with this Trailblazer Award. I’ve worked with Michelle via Broadcast Leadership Training and know firsthand that her efforts are tireless and her work throughout our industry is meaningful. This award was a long time coming.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. A new study titled, “Exploring The Brand Benefits of Trust and Companionship in Audio,” commissioned by iHeartMedia and PMX (the investment arm of Publicis Media), finds that “consumers perceive radio and podcast personalities as highly relatable, trustworthy and authentic. These findings present rich opportunity for advertisers to build brand affinity and favorability, and drive purchase in audio environments.” The study was conducted by Magid and reveals that “55% of participants said they listen to commercials more often on radio and in podcasts than through any other medium. In addition, 53% found radio and podcast advertisements to be more relevant than on any other medium and 51% said they are more trusting of radio and podcast advertisers than on any other medium. When comparing radio versus streaming music services in nine consumer categories including restaurants, retail, automobiles and more, consumers who purchased a product were more likely to buy from an audio advertisement in every single category.”…..The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Ted Davis, former voice of the Milwaukee Bucks who retired after the 2021-22 season, posted to Facebook that he’s leaving his current gig at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WRNW-FM, Milwaukee “97.3 The Game.” He’ll continue to work with the station in a fill-in capacity. He co-hosted the “Heller & Davis” show with Mike Heller, who will continue to host the program solo…..iHeartMedia Denver announces that veteran sports broadcaster Jerry Schemmel returns to the KOA Colorado Rockies Radio Network, effective immediately. Schemmel shares play-by-play and color analyst duties with Jack Corrigan for all 162 Colorado Rockies games and returns to KOA for his 11th season following a two-year hiatus. He says, “I am elated to be coming back to the KOA Colorado Rockies Radio Network booth. I couldn’t be happier to be working with Jack Corrigan and producer Jesse Thomas. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get back at it.”

 

Russia-Ukraine War, the Economy/Inflation, January 6 Committee/Prosecutions, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, Macron-Le Pen Race, and Severe Southern U.S. Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the allegations of war crimes, and the implications for U.S. relations abroad; the state of the U.S. economy, soaring inflation, and President Joe Biden’s ethanol authorization; the January 6 committee’s ongoing investigation and the prosecution of those who entered the Capitol; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterms and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; America’s retreating from COVID-19 protocols, concerns about the BA.2 variant’s spread, and China’s zero-covid lockdown policy; the race for president of France between liberal Emmanuel Macron and far-right Marine Le Pen; and the severe spring weather hitting the U.S. South were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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.

Friday, January 7, 2022

| January 7, 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 magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The New Abnormal,” looks back at this past week of 1/3 to 1/7. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSHarry Hurley, talk show host WPG, Atlantic City; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Scott Sands, talk show host, WSPD, Toledo; Danny Lipford, host “Today’s Homeowner” Radio & TV; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each weekend 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; 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; 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 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.

Bill Bartholomew Joins WPRO, Providence as APD/Executive Producer. Rhode Island multimedia journalist Bill Bartholomew joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM “NewsTalk 99.7 FM & AM 630” as assistant program director and executive producer. Bartholomew is creator and host of “The Bartholomewtown Podcast,” a popular local political podcast that features in-depth interviews with local and national figures. He holds a degree in political science from University of Rhode Island and is also a regular contributor to Rhode Island PBS. WPRO program director Doug MacGunnigle comments, “I’m excited to welcome Bill to the team. His experience in the digital realm, standing in the community, and political savvy will add greatly to the success of WPRO and be a tremendous asset as we move into new and exciting frontiers, both on the air and beyond.” Bartholomew states, “Joining the team at legendary platform WPRO on a daily basis is a tremendous opportunity for me, and one that I take extremely seriously. For nearly a century, WPRO has been a trusted source for southern New Englanders, and I look forward to collaborating with the station to expand the reach of my perspective and insight into the issues that are important to the region, introducing radio to a new audience, and expanding WPRO’s reach in the rapidly expanding digital space.”

Mueller Named Program Director at Cumulus Media’s ‘Sports Animal’ in OK City. After last month’s retirement of program director Chris Baker, Cumulus Media brings Robert “Cisco” Mueller aboard as PD of WWLS-FM, Oklahoma City “The Sports Animal” to lead the station. Mueller says, “What an amazing opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Chris Baker who I’ve known for over 21 years. My wife and I are thrilled to be back home in OKC, close to our son… and it’s so fun to be working in familiar places with familiar faces. Truly humbled to work with the best sports talent on WWLS. I want to thank Jay Davis and Bruce Gilbert for this opportunity!” Chris Baker comments, “I am exceedingly excited that Robert “Cisco” Mueller will be my successor. I have known Cisco over two decades. His knowledge of the OKC metro, the Oklahoma sports landscape, and his prowess with new media makes him the perfect pick.”

CES2022: Cars, Cash, COVID. As the scaled-down yet still-enormous Las Vegas tech expo wraps – a day early, out of caution – Holland Cooke reports how tech trends that accelerated during the shutdown emerge as the New Normal. Read it all here.

Triton Digital Releases U.S. Streaming Rankers for November 2021. This data is a listing of the top performing digital audio publishers as measured by Triton Digital’s Streaming Metrics measurement services and is ranked based on Average Active Sessions (AAS is calculated by dividing Total Listening Hours by the number of hours within the reported time period) and includes only Triton clients. For the November 2021 period (Mon-Sun 6A-12M), iHeartRadio ranks #1 with 296,880 AAS. At #2 is NPR Member Stations (76,918 AAS), followed by Audacy at #3 (66,543 AAS), and Cumulus Streaming Network at #4 (41,370 AAS). Other companies of note in the top 25 include: Beasley Broadcasting Corporate at #7 (18,053 AAS), Hubbard Broadcasting at #8 (13,831 AAS), Salem Communications at #11 (9,007 AAS), and Bonneville International at #13 (7,116 AAS). You can see the complete top 25 here.

New NAB Chief Curtis LeGeyt Pledges to Fight for Local Journalism. In a blog piece published on Thursday (1/6), NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says he intends to “strongly advocate on behalf of America’s broadcasters and help fulfill their mission of providing trusted local journalism that keeps our communities safe, informed and connected.” LeGeyt writes, “Today marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Among the many lessons learned that day, the public was undoubtedly reminded of broadcasters’ critical role in bringing information to the public, especially during times of crisis. As misinformation runs rampant on social media, local radio and TV stations continue to bring the most trusted news to communities across the country. Millions of Americans have relied on broadcasters to be their eyes and ears during our nation’s most pivotal events.” Read the entire piece here.

Harrison Sings Hannity’s Praises on Radio ShowTALKERS founder Michael Harrison sang praises for Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity while guesting on the Scott Sands afternoon drive program on iHeartMedia’s WSPD, Toledo yesterday (1/6). Harrison was invited to discuss the anniversary of January 6 and the impact talk radio has had in covering the story. When asked about Hannity’s high-profile role in the story, Harrison responded with emphatic support of the talk show host’s involvement in it and his First Amendment rights as well as the value his connection to President Trump has played in illustrating the importance of talk radio in contemporary society. Harrison, known for his political neutrality but zealous support of the First Amendment and talk media industry, stated, “Sean Hannity is one of the most influential radio personalities of the medium’s 100-year history.” To listen to an excerpt of the conversation, please click here.  Scott Sands is also the PD of WSPD as well as area SVP of programming, Ohio/West Virginia iHeartMedia Communities Division.

The COVID-19 Omicron Surge, Vaccines, Boosters & Politics Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 3-7. The soaring rate of COVID cases in the U.S. and abroad, the debate over vaccine mandates, the effectiveness of boosters and the politics that surround it combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack and the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s role in it, followed by the economy, inflation, the supply chain, and the labor shortage 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.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

| January 5, 2022

Sean Hannity Cooperation Sought by House Committee in January 6 Investigation. Texts between FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity and Donald Trump staffers before, during the January 6 Capitol attack, and after have been revealed as part of the House Committee’s investigation. Now, the House Select Committee is asking Hannity for his cooperation in its investigation. According to a report in The Hill, the Select Committee tells Hannity it is interested in communications between him and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others, as well as President Trump himself between December 31, 2020 and January 20, 2021. Citing a number of texts, the Committee says it appears Hannity had advance knowledge of Trump’s and his legal team’s plans for January 6. Hannity’s takes and suggestions indicate he was, at least to some degree, at odds with Trump’s beliefs about his January 6 strategy regarding the election certification. The Hill reports Hannity attorney Jay Sekulow says he’s not yet been informed of the Committee’s request but says it would raise “serious constitutional issues.” Regarding that matter, the Committee’s letter states, “The Select Committee has immense respect for the First Amendment to our Constitution, freedom of the press, and the rights of Americans to express their political opinions freely. For that reason, we do not intend to seek information from you regarding your broadcasts on radio or television, your public reporting or commentary, or your political views regarding any candidate for office.” TALKERS founder and First Amendment advocate Michael Harrison states, “In the talk media business, influence is every bit as important as ratings. Sean Hannity has consistently proven to be at the top of the pack in both measurements year after year. Obviously, not everyone agrees with his opinions – that is the nature of our business, not to mention the times. Free speech, politics and democracy are untidy affairs. The role Sean has played and continues to play in being a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the microphone is the quintessential example of just how far our format – talk radio – has come in shaping the history of this era. Fortunately, those of us who know Sean personally recognize him as a man of integrity. Although some refer to his texts as ‘damning,’ I am pleased that the ‘concerns’ he expressed to the White House a year ago put him on the right side of history when it comes down to the real nitty gritty. The rest is the real-world stuff of big-time commercial media positioning. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone when it comes to attacking those who have bravely built this medium to being a lot more than a platform for the low hanging fruit of mediocre music, disingenuous promotion codes and superficial chatter.”

Salem Radio Network Talk Host Larry Elder Won’t Run for California Governor This Year. According to numerous media reports, including one from KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder will not run for governor of California this fall. Elder ran as a Republican in last September’s recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom and of the dozens who qualified to be on the ballot was the Republican with the most votes. It was moot, however, as voters rejected the recall. Elder says he will form the Elder for America political action committee that will benefit Republicans in federal and local elections. In a statement, Elder says, “I ran for governor because I wanted to make a difference. While I may not know what the future holds for me politically, our campaign’s ability to attract millions of votes and millions of dollars in a very short time demonstrates we have a message that resonates with Americans, and I believe we can put that to good use.” The KNBC-TV story notes that Elder for America says Elder’s recall campaign raised about $22.5 million in eight weeks.

CES2022: “Pandemic Pivots.” The pandemic has accelerated trends “that have been simmering for a while and are now coming to a boil,” according to Consumer Technology Association research. 2022 tech spending is forecast to top a TRILLION dollars in the USA alone. And covering CES this week in Las Vegas, consultant Holland Cooke spots opportunities for radio sales. Read more here.

SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Named Contributor for FNC’s ‘Special Report with Brett Baier.’ Washington-based Salem Radio Network morning drive host Hugh Hewitt is named a regular contributor to FOX News Channel’s “Special Report with Brett Baier.” Hewitt was a longtime contributor on MSNBC and he currently writes a regular column for The Washington Post.

TALKERS News Notes. The sports talk radio show “Outkick 360” – hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow and Paul Kuharsky – recently entered national syndication via Skyview Networks. The company says that the show recently picked up new affiliate WMBH, Joplin, Missouri which joins the growing list of affiliate radio stations carrying the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET program…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces that it is now accepting entries for the 35th annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards, honoring outstanding community service efforts by radio stations throughout 2021. Winners will be recognized at the NAB Show, April 23–27, 2022 in Las Vegas. A panel of judges representing the broadcast industry and community service organizations will review applications and select 50 finalists and 10 winners. The deadline for submissions is January 31 and entry information can be found here…..Newsmax announces it is premiering its new documentary, “Day of Outrage,” tonight at 9:00 pm ET. Newsmax says the program “was produced by Newsmax to accurately and fairly detail the events related to the tragic day of January 6, 2021. The film includes powerful video footage of the protests and riots that took place on January 6, as well as a careful examination of events that led up to that fateful day.”…..ESPN Radio is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. The national sports talk radio platform launched in January of 1992. Senior coordinating producer, content strategy & audio Amanda Gifford says, “This is an incredibly meaningful milestone for our network. Sports radio has evolved in so many ways over the past 30 years and through it all, ESPN continues to be a leader in the space thanks to the dedication and passion of everyone involved behind the scenes and on-air.”…..The Motley Fool announces that its “Motley Fool Money” weekly flagship podcast is now airing new episodes seven days a week. Weekday episodes will focus on analyzing the companies making headlines, bringing a long-term perspective to daily market news, and putting new stock ideas on the audience’s radar. Weekend episodes will feature interviews with special guests and conversations about investing styles, strategies, and psychology. Show host and head of podcast strategy Chris Hill says, “More than ever people are focused on how to achieve financial independence, and we’re excited to provide programming that’s relevant to everyone on the investing spectrum. Gen Xers are thinking about how to retire, Millennials are entering their 40s, and more members of Gen Z are starting to invest every month. Motley Fool Money is going to be a resource for all of them, seven days a week.”…..Baltimore public radio news/talk outlet WYPR-FM “Your Public Radio” is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The station says it will celebrate its platinum anniversary with a variety of in-person and virtual events, special on-air programming, fundraising campaigns and a host of unique activities for listeners all year long. Station president and general manager LaFontaine E. Oliver says, “Our community of members and listeners is the reason that we are so successful. We have one of the best performing sustaining programs in the country with almost 70% of our members giving monthly donations. Their support has allowed the station to grow to the point where we are more than terrestrial radio – our content now reaches audiences on-air, online, on-demand, on mobile and in the community.”

COVID-19, January 6 Investigation/Trump Presser, Filibuster-Voting Rights Battle, 2022 Midterm Elections, Prince Andrew Civil Suit, and Southeastern Snow Storm Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The soaring rate of Omicron variant cases in the U.S., the heated debate over in-school learning, and the scramble for COVID tests; the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack, the release of texts between Trump staffers and the media, and Donald Trump cancels Thursday’s press conference; the battle in the U.S. Senate over voting rights legislation and the filibuster; the potential change in power in Congress after the 2022 midterm elections; Prince Andrew fights the civil suit filed against him by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre; and the stranding of hundreds of vehicles on I-95 in Virginia after the Southeastern snow storm were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.