Tag: "Sports Talk"

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

| April 7, 2021

Gordon Smith to Leave NAB Leadership Role at Year’s End. The National Association of Broadcasters announces that president and CEO Gordon H. Smith will leave his position and transition to an advisory and advocacy role effective December 31, 2021. NAB’s chief operating officer Curtis LeGeyt will become the next president and CEO of NAB effective January 1, 2022. In a video message to members, Smith said, “It has been my great honor to give the lion’s roar for broadcasters – those who run into the storm, those who stand firm in chaos to hear the voice of the people, those who hold to account the powerful – and to stand with those of the fourth estate who have the hearts of public servants.” Smith joined NAB as president and CEO in November 2009. Previously, he served as a two-term U.S. senator from Oregon and later as senior advisor in the Washington offices of Covington & Burling, LLP. NAB joint board of directors chairman Jordan Wertlieb (president of Hearst Television) thanked Smith for his service to the industry. “Gordon is the ultimate statesman, bringing people together from both sides of the aisle to discuss ideas, find common ground and lead NAB to success on countless fronts. On behalf of the leadership of NAB, we extend our sincere gratitude for more than a decade of service to the broadcast industry. We look forward to continuing to work with Gordon and benefiting from his guidance for years to come. I am also delighted to share that NAB is in the enviable position of having cultivated top talent within the organization to provide for a smooth and stable transition in leadership. Curtis LeGeyt has the utmost confidence of the NAB leadership and staff to lead our association into the future.” LeGeyt has been with NAB for nearly a decade, during which time he led several highly successful legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of broadcasters, including the permanent reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR), inclusion of $1 billion in RAY BAUM’s Act to reimburse stations impacted by the spectrum auction repack, and successful passage of the Music Modernization Act. Prior to assuming his current role as chief operating officer, LeGeyt served for five years as NAB’s executive vice president, Government Relations. Before joining NAB, LeGeyt was senior counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (VT). He says, “I am honored and humbled to be named the next leader of this great organization. To represent the broadcast industry and the local stations that bind our communities together in a moment of such tremendous change across the media landscape is a privilege. Our stations’ role in communities across this country has never been more important, and I look forward to working every day to ensure their ability to grow and thrive.”

SCOTUS Declines to Hear Alex Jones Appeal. According to numerous media reports, including this one from NBC News, the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the appeal requested by radio and internet personality Alex Jones of his sanction by a Connecticut court. Jones was sanctioned in 2019 for what he said on his radio show about an attorney for the relatives of the victims of the Newtown massacre and for violating numerous court orders to turn over documents to the families’ lawyers. Judge Barbara Bellis also barred Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the case and added she would order Jones to pay some of the families’ legal fees. Jones argued that his words were the exercising of his First Amendment rights. Jones is being sued by some of the families who lost loved ones in the shooting after Jones claimed that the shootings were a hoax and who consequently suffered harassment and threats from Jones’ fans. Jones earned the sanction after claiming on his radio show that an attorney for the families tried to plant child porn on his computer by sending it in encrypted email files. In Connecticut, that state’s Supreme Court ruled that sanctions were proper because Jones’ words were an “imminent and likely threat to the administration of justice.”

WHCU, Ithaca Adds SRN’s Dennis Prager to Early Afternoon Daypart. Ithaca, New York news/talk WHCU is adding Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager show to the lineup in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot. Joe Salzone is news director at the Saga Communications station, and he says, “We polled our listeners on a Rush Limbaugh replacement show over the past month and Prager was their top choice. While they know that Rush’s show was great, they also understand that radio is best as a live, topical medium and that running repeats of Rush segments was not what they ultimately wanted to listen to.” WHCU operations manager Chris Allinger adds, “Dennis will be a good fit for WHCU. He is intelligent, educated, and will bring those assets to the regional airwaves. Replacing a legend like Rush is not easy, but Dennis has been successfully doing his nationally syndicated weekday show in the exact same time period for over 20 years, so his track record is already proven.”

Todd Starnes Show Joins WMLB, Atlanta. The nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” is joining the program lineup on WMLB, Atlanta “Freedom 1690” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. The station is owned by Delmarva Educational Association but is being operated under an LMA by the Virginia-based John Fredericks Radio Network that owns conservative talk duo WJFN-AM/FM in the Richmond, Virginia market. John Fredericks says, “Now more than ever, as Leftist elites continue their unprecedented power grab and assault on Christians, Todd stands at the beachhead of defending people of faith everywhere.”

Nielsen: Consumer Sentiment About COVID-19 Recovery Improving. According to a new study by Nielsen that addresses American consumer sentiment about COVID-19 and media usage, people 18 and older are showing “increased confidence with respect to consumer behavior.” Nielsen says the survey looked at three segments reflecting attitudes about the pandemic. People who are “Ready to Go,” those who “Proceed with Caution,” and consumers who “Wait and See” when it comes to resuming normal behavior. The “Ready to Go” segment peaked at 61% in the March 2021 survey compared with 34% in April 2020. The more pessimistic group of Wait and See consumers dropped to 9% in March 2021 compared with 29% a year ago. Other key consumer sentiments include: 82% now say that stores that were closed have started to open again compared with only 40% in April of last year; 64% agree that it is safer than it was a month ago, compared to 38% in April 2020; and 72% agree that their town is starting to emerge from the crisis versus 44% a year ago. The study showed that heavy radio listeners are more likely to make big-ticket purchases within a year. Heavy radio listeners are 18% more likely to purchase or lease a new or used vehicle in the next year, and 64% are more likely to buy a house in the next twelve months, compared to total adults. Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly comments, “As Americans continue to navigate the pandemic, the future looks promising. Consumers are becoming more optimistic and resuming more normal activities, especially heavy radio listeners. AM/FM listeners are more likely to be out and about and spending more time in their vehicles.” You can see more in a Nielsen webinar here.

‘The Biz Tape’ Launches on Nashville Podcast Network. The Bobby Bones-led Nashville Podcast Network is launching a new program called “The Biztape” hosted by Colin McKay and Joe Wasilewski. “The Biztape,” formerly known as “That’s Showbiz Baby,” is a weekly podcast covering all things music business and media. Hosts McKay and Wasilewski are music industry professionals who provide insight into the business and technical side of these closed-curtain industries. McKay and Wasilewski say, “We searched for a long time to find a podcast that discussed the music business from the business side. We wanted more advice and more depth than just ‘work hard.’ We decided to fill the void by creating ‘The Biztape’ so we could get as nerdy as we always wanted to with it. Thankfully, with the help of Bobby Bones and the Nashville Podcast Network, we have the opportunity to continue that dream and we can’t wait to start creating with such a passionate and unique brand.”

iHeartMedia Debuts New Podcast ‘In Fact with Chelsea Clinton.’ A new iHeartRadio Original Podcast is being launched titled “In Fact with Chelsea Clinton” and hosted by the former First Daughter and public health expert. The podcast joins the iHeartPodcast Network that is already home to “You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton” and “Why Am I Telling You This? with Bill Clinton.” iHeartMedia says, “‘In Fact with Chelsea Clinton’ will pull back the curtain on some of the biggest public health challenges of our time. Each week on the podcast, Clinton — who holds a doctorate in international relations, a masters in public health, and teaches at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health — will sit down with experts, activists, and an assortment of surprising guests who share her passion for science, evidence and, of course, facts.” In the podcast’s debut episode, Clinton sits down with Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, who has been a vocal advocate for people with HIV/AIDS since publicly sharing his own HIV-positive status in 2019; activist Peter Staley; and Dr. Oni Blackstock, an HIV physician and health equity advocate, to explore the trajectory of HIV/AIDS from the early days of activism through modern day.”

New Kelly Osbourne and Jeff Beacher Show to Launch on PodcastOne. A new, eponymous podcast starring Kelly Osbourne and Jeff Beacher is debuting on PodcastOne in which Osbourne and Beacher will create a live theater experience and feature their dynamic and outrageous personalities and uncensored conversations with a diverse list of celebrity guests and famous friends. They will discuss everything from the latest current events to fitness, weight-loss, fame, stories of inspiration and beyond. Osbourne and Beacher will be joined by regular co-host Donny Davis, original star of “Beacher’s Madhouse” and one of the most well-known activists for little people. The podcast will record and film from the penthouse of the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – former home to “Beacher’s Madhouse” theatre. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Kelly and Jeff together are a showstopping dynamic. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome them to PodcastOne and know that their show will be destination programming for podcast audiences.”

‘104.5 The Team’ in Albany Names Dan Bahl Brand Manager. Two months after previous brand manager and on-air host Tom Gozlowski was let go from the station, Townsquare Media’s WTMM-FM, Albany “104.5 The Team” announces that Dan Bahl joins as the new brand manager and afternoon drive co-host. Bahl partners with incumbent air personality Jeff Levack on the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program. Bahl has been operating his own sports website and podcast network. He says, “I am extremely honored and excited to join ‘104.5 The Team’ and the Townsquare Media family. I am really looking forward to having great debates and conversations with Jeff Levack and the ‘104.5 The Team’ listeners, as well as strengthening the brand on-air, online, and across social media.” Townsquare Media director of content Matty Jeff comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dan to the Townsquare Media local team here in Albany. Dan’s leadership, acumen across all platforms, and passion for sports will broaden the reach of the great local on-air and digital content we create daily on ‘104.5 The Team.’”

COVID-19, Voting Legislation/McConnell Threat, Matt Gaetz Investigation, Biden Infrastructure Plan, Border Crisis, Derek Chauvin Trial, and China Military Exercises Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/6). The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; Georgia’s vote restriction law, the Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill, and Mitch McConnell’s threats to businesses that protest Georgia’s law; allegations U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz had relationships with underage girls; the battle in Washington over President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan; the large number of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; and China’s military exercises near Taiwan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

| April 6, 2021

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Names Skyler Cooper ‘Evening News’ Host. Nine-year KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa staffer Skyler Cooper rises from his reporter position to a new role as the host of the “KRMG Evening News” that airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm weeknights. Station director of branding and programming Levi May says, “The ‘KRMG Evening News’ has a great history of hosts informing and entertaining Tulsa’s radio audience on their drive home. Skyler’s the perfect local host to carry on this tradition.” Cooper is a Tulsa native who began his career with the Cox Media Group station as a part-time board operator and moved up through the ranks. During his nine years with the station, he’s covered the construction and opening of the Gathering Place, the historic 2019 Arkansas River flood, tornadic weather, and the tragic shooting of two Tulsa Police Department officers in 2020. He says, “I am beyond excited to take on this new challenge and I am looking forward to working with the ‘KRMG Evening News’ team. It’s such a thrill to work for the most powerful radio station in Oklahoma and it’s right here in my hometown!” Cooper replaces Dick Loftin who served as the “KRMG Evening News” host for eight years.

Larry Blumhagen to Lead Cumulus Media San Francisco. Radio sales and management pro Larry Blumhagen is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group that includes news/talk KGO, news/talk KSFO, sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, and classic rock KSAN-FM. He takes over for Doug Harvill, who announced his retirement from the industry in January. Blumhagen was most recently VP and director of sales for Audacy Los Angeles. Cumulus EVP of operations Dave Milner says, “Larry brings a strategic mind focused on building successful sales organizations and positive cultures. Aligning his exceptional leadership abilities and deep knowledge of the San Francisco market with our talented team and strong brands is a winning combination.” Blumhagen comments, “I’m beyond thrilled to return to San Francisco and to join the exceptional team at Cumulus Media. Leading these great brands forward while meeting the needs of both our listeners and advertisers will be an exciting journey. I’m fortunate to be stepping into Doug Harvill’s shoes, as I know first-hand that he is a man of deep integrity and immense passion for the industry.”

‘The Dana Show’ Announces New Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” – starring Dana Loesch – adds a number of new affiliate stations. Syndicator Radio America reports that “The Dana Show” recently replaced “The Rush Limbaugh Show” on KURV-AM, McAllen-Brownsville, Texas; KJNO-AM/FM Juneau, Alaska; and KJMT-FM, Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Other stations to recently add the program to their lineups include: KERN-AM, Bakersfield; KYUL-AM & KIUL-AM Wichita; and KGYN, Guymon, Oklahoma.

Sebastian Gorka’s ‘Reality Check’ Debuts on Newsmax TV This Sunday. Former Trump White House strategist and deputy assistant – and current Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk radio host – Sebastian Gorka’s new television show on Newsmax TV debuts this Sunday (4/11) at 7:00 pm ET (with a rebroadcast at 10:00 pm ET). The program is called “The Gorka Reality Check” and Gorka says, “Newsmax is the new force for truth in the face of a morally bankrupt legacy media and I am honored to join Chris Ruddy’s sterling team. There is a good reason that Newsmax’s daily shows are scaring legacy competitors, and our new weekly show, ‘The Gorka Reality Check,’ will reveal the truth behind the most important stories our loyal viewers need to be aware of in order to stop the radical Left.”

Martha Zoller’s Show Expands on WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Martha Zoller’s talk show on Jacobs Media’s news/talk WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia is getting a new name and another hour of air time. The AJC’s Rodney Ho reports that the station’s program changes in the aftermath of the death of 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk legend Rush Limbaugh include the expansion of Zoller’s program. While the early afternoon daypart previously occupied by Limbaugh is being filled by syndicated radio personality Todd Starnes, Zoller’s show grows from one to two hours and now airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily. It’s also changing its title from “Morning Talk with Martha Zoller” to “The Martha Zoller Show.”

The Mightier 1090’s “Kaplan & Crew” Airing on So Cal Cable TV. According to a story in the Times of San Diego, best of segments of the XEPRS-AM “The Mightier 1090” afternoon drive show “Kaplan & Crew” are being featured in an hourlong program airing from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly on Cox Communications’ regional cable channel “YurView.” Scott Kaplan, along with co-hosts John Browner and Alex Padilla, re-joined XEPRS for its re-launch in August of last year. The station’s previous operator Broadcast Company of the Americas lost its lease with XEPRS’ owner and Flagstaff, Arizona-based advertising executive Bill Hagen began the process of bringing “The Mightier 1090” back to the airwaves. Kaplan tells the Times, “We are stoked to add TV as a distribution platform. Two years ago, we were heard exclusively on radio, then we evolved into a podcast broadcasting on terrestrial radio and now cable TV. I am excited to share with the Cox viewers our brand of sports and life talk. Thankfully, my man Bill Hagen revived 1090, who has been instrumental in our growth, and getting us onto televisions throughout the mega market.”

Former Nielsen PPM Panelist Sues Ratings Company for Revealing His Identity in Bubba the Love Sponge Ratings Manipulation Case. A report in the Tampa Bay Times indicates that the rabid fans of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge forced Nicolas Tabachuk and his family to move out of Florida after his identity was revealed along with this role in outing Bubba in a PPM ratings manipulation scheme. Tabachuk is suing Nielsen in Pinellas County, Florida complaining that the company promised to keep his identity hidden but failed to do so. This suit stems from the 2015 case in which Nielsen sued Bubba the Love Sponge for paying a PPM panelist to tune in to the show. Bubba and Nielsen settled that suit for an undisclosed amount. This suit claims that after promising to keep Tabachuk’s identity secret, Nielsen revealed it to Bubba during a meeting with him. It goes on to claim that Bubba’s fans harassed Tabachuk with death threats, rape threats and stalking, hacking his social media accounts, showing up to his home and the home of his parents. The suit is seeking in excess of $30,000 from Nielsen. Bubba the Love Sponge is not named in the suit.

WWO: Podcasting Accounts for All the Growth in Audio. Using data from Edison Research’s Q4 2020 edition of the Share of Ear study, this week’s Westwood One blog observes what it calls “stunning news” – that “for the first time, audience shares for podcasting surpassed the combined audiences of ad-supported Pandora and ad-supported Spotify.” Some of the takeaways from this blog report include: AM/FM radio’s 74% share of ad-supported audio is 11 times bigger than Pandora’s and 19 times larger than Spotify’s; adding podcasts and AM/FM radio streaming generates incremental reach to over-the-air AM/FM radio media plans; and podcasting now accounts for all the growth in audio. A four-year comparison of Share of Ear  data reveals ad-supported Pandora and Spotify shares have dropped from a 12% share in 2016 to a 11% share in 2020. Over the same period, podcast shares increased 4 times, 3% to 12%. See the Westwood One blog here.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report at Syracuse.com, radio sales and management pro Rick Yacobush has come out of retirement to join the sales and marketing team at Cumulus Media’s Syracuse cluster as a senior account executive. Yacobush has worked for more than 42 years in the Central New York radio market. The Cumulus cluster in Syracuse includes sports talk WSKO-AM and three music brands…..New York Times bestselling author and TV personality Nicole Lapin announces the launch of her new daily financial podcast, “Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin,” distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network. The podcast is a call-in style financial podcast “that demystifies money topics for everyday people.” Each week, Lapin invites a listener to come onto the show for a one-on-one “listener intervention,” where she has an extended conversation with the listener about a money issue and gives them advice so they can “rehab” their finances…..Audacy’s Cadence13 and NBA veteran JJ Redick and Tommy Alter’s ThreeFourTwo Productions unveil “FAIRGAME,” a limited-run podcast series hosted by former world No. 1 champion golfer Adam Scott in which “he’ll take listeners inside the ropes to provide a never-before-heard account of what it takes to compete at the game’s most prominent event, the 2021 Masters Tournament.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting coverage of the 85th Masters Tournament from Wednesday (4/7) through Sunday (4/11). Each day during the tournament, Westwood One will offer two-minute-long leader board updates and breaking news reports at :16 and :46 past the hour for a total of 102 updates throughout the Masters. In addition, Westwood One Sports will air “The Masters Tonight,” an hour-long show featuring highlights, player audio, and more to recap the day’s events, hosted by Kevin Kugler with former PGA Tour player Charlie Rymer…..The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announces it has partnered with Cumulus Media’s KCSF-AM, Colorado Springs “XTRA Sports 1300” to broadcast Switchbacks games in 2021. KCSF-AM program director and afternoon drive host Ryan Kaufman will handle play-by-play duties. He’d served as TV play-by-play announcer since 2018.

COVID-19, Biden Infrastructure Plan, Border Troubles/Immigration Policy, Derek Chauvin Trial, Voting Rights/MLB Moves All-Star Game, Matt Gaetz Investigation, Hunter Biden Book, Credit Suisse Loss, and Netanyahu Corruption Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5). The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the spread of the variants, and the rollout of vaccines; President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan; the problem of large numbers of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the new voting laws in Georgia, the Democrats’ federal voting rights bill, and the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star game out of Atlanta in response; the investigation into allegations of sex with a minor against Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz; the new book by Hunter Biden that details his addiction troubles and more; Credit Suisse loses $4.7 billion after a hedge fund collapses; and the corruption trial facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

| April 1, 2021

Lee Habeeb, Host and Producer of Our American Stories, Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. At a time when appreciation for the art of storytelling is clearly on the ascent in talk media, Lee Habeeb, the host and producer of “Our American Stories” makes a return appearance as a guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Since its launch six years ago, the weekly two-hour syndicated program has been added, mostly in the evenings, to the menus at more than 315 news/talk radio stations across the nation including some really big ones. It is a highly researched and meticulously produced story-based overview of contemporary American life and cultural history that Michael Harrison describes as being “one of the most promising inventions to come down the commercial talk radio pike in years… a program that illuminates history, popular culture, politics, business, science… the spectrum of topics, people, and angles that make up the rich and intricate fabric of America.” Harrison and Habeeb take a deep-dive into the subjects of American history and the nation’s centuries-old mission to overcome its problems and form a more perfect union, in addition to discussing the positive tenets of capitalism, the differences between legal and illegal immigration, and the need for the media focus on the positive as well as the negative. Habeeb explains new ways of expanding the boundaries of the standard news/talk radio format as well as its conventional business model. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

NPR and Edison Study Identifies Six Unique Radio Segments. Data from a recent study from NPR and Edison Research – titled Radio: Live On Air and Everywhere – will be revealed in a webinar on April 15. The study examines the role radio plays in Americans’ lives in 2021 and reveals listening behavior among the six unique radio audience segments. In teasing the webinar, Edison says the study finds 63% of those in the U.S. age 18+ are reached by radio every day, and 41% of all daily audio time in the U.S. is spent with radio. The study explores listener attitudes about advertising on radio and other media, and provides insight into NPR listeners and how they occupy a unique place in this context. Edison and NPR says the webinar will reveal: What the six types of radio listeners are and how they engage with radio; which type of listener is most open to radio advertising content; how radio listeners feel about advertising on radio versus other platforms; and where NPR listeners fit into the six segments of listeners, and their attitudes toward sponsorships.

‘Todd Starnes Show’ Added to KBDT, Dallas and KQSP, Minneapolis. The nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” is being added to the program schedule at USA Radio Networks’ KBDT-AM, Dallas and KQSP-AM, Minneapolis in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. USA Radio is also adding the “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” daily feature to 18 stations including KBCF-AM/FM, Muscle Shoals, Alabama; KPKY, Terrell, Texas; KVNN, Victoria, Texas; and seven stations in the Nevada Talk Network.

‘ESPN 102.5 The Game’ in Nashville Adds Caroline Fenton to PM Drive Show. Nashville sports talker WPRT-FM “ESPN 102.5 The Game” brings Caroline Fenton aboard as part of the “Stillman & Company” afternoon drive show led by Jared Stillman. Ryan Porth is program director for the Cromwell Media-owned station. He says, “We are extremely excited to be able to add Caroline to our talented team. Caroline will pair well with Jared in the afternoons, becoming 102.5 The Game’s first full-time female on-air host in our nine-plus years of existence. She will also greatly assist the show and the station with our digital efforts across all platforms.” Fenton was most recently digital video/social content producer with ESPN. In that role, she helped integrate content strategies and produce digital shows such as “Baseball Tonight Live” and “Countdown to College Gameday.” She says, “As the daughter of two Tennessee natives, this state has always felt like home to me and I couldn’t be happier to be here representing some of the best sports fans in the country. It’s an honor to learn from and work with Jared and the entire team at ‘102.5 The Game’ and to continue our reputation as Nashville’s best sports talk.”

iHeartMedia Cleveland Launches ‘The Jimmy Malone Show.’ A new, local program is launching on iHeartMedia Cleveland’s sports talk WARF-AM “FOX Sports 1350 The Gambler.”  “The Jimmy Malone Show” – hosted by longtime Cleveland radio personality Jimmy Malone. It debuts today (4/1) airing each Thursday and Friday morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. The program will also air on sister adult contemporary WMJI-FM “Majic 105.7” on Saturdays from 6:30 am to 9:00 am. iHeartMedia Cleveland says, “Each week Jimmy will host conversations with politicians, community and business leaders, journalists and others, all with the goal to make a difference in Northeast Ohio. The debut show on April 1 will feature Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, along with author and justice advocate Andrea Thome, who is a native Clevelander and wife of former Indians slugger Jim Thome.  Friday’s show reunites Jimmy with his longtime, now retired, radio partner John Lanigan.”

Charlie Thomas Named Area President for iHeartMedia’s Mid-North. Thirty-six-year radio pro Charlie Thomas is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Mid-North area. He was most recently area president for North Dakota. In this new position, he’ll oversee markets including Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota as well as Bismarck, Dickinson, Minot, Grand Forks and North Dakota markets that comprise 29 stations. Thomas will report to Shosh Abromovich, division president for iHeartMedia. Abromovich says, “We are very excited for Charlie to oversee these six markets. His proven leadership helped the North Dakota area be among the top performers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m confident that his forward thinking will guide and grow these communities to the next level.”

Heather Cohen Among Honorees at Inaugural ‘Sheroes in Media’ Awards. The inaugural “Sheroes in Media” awards from the Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association were held virtually last night and Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen was one of the recipients. The MMCA event honored “women who promote and exemplify diverse media excellence.” Also honored were: Julie Burton, executive director, Women’s Media Center; Francine Compton, president, Native American Journalist Association; Michelle Lee, chair, Asian American Journalists Association; Nora Lopez, president, National Association of Hispanic Journalists; Lisa Matthews, president, National Press Club; and Dorothy Tucker, president, National Association of Black Journalists. MMCA president David Morgan says, “At this critical time in our country it is more important than ever to have greater diversity in who, what, where, when and how stories are told. MMCA is beyond honored to launch this annual event by celebrating the powerful ‘sheroes’ currently leading the organizations at the spear of the fight for media diversity while also building support for our ongoing effort to increase diverse media ownership.”

Radio One Names Yonni Rude Executive Producer of ‘The Morning Hustle.’ Moving from his operations manager role at Radio One’s Cleveland station group  to executive producer for Reach Media’s “The Morning Hustle” is Yonni Rude. In this new role, Rude will work with the team to create captivating content.  He will oversee all aspects of the show both on-air and digitally. He’ll focus on daily operations while overseeing the entirety of the brand. Rude says, “The Morning Hustle is the next evolution of morning radio and I’m excited to lead the team and help grow the brand. Thanks to Colby Colb, Mitch Henry and David Kantor for the opportunity to lead this amazing team.”

TALKERS News Notes. On April 6, ABC Audio will debut the first episode of its new podcast, “Soul of a Nation: Tulsa’s Buried Truth,” written and hosted by ABC News senior national correspondent Steve Osunsami. The podcast examines the racially motivated attacks on Black residents of Tulsa in 1921 in which as many as 300 Black Americans died. Featuring archival audio accounts from witnesses and interviews with historians, “Tulsa’s Buried Truth” brings listeners through the painful history and into the modern-day quest for closure and healing…..iHeartMedia launches “COVID-19 Immunity in Our Community,” an iHeartRadio Original limited podcast series produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to share timely and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. The show is hosted by iconic ABC News television broadcaster Robin Roberts. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne states, “With more and more Americans getting access to vaccines as supply increases, it is important the public has the facts about the vaccines in order to understand how important they are to ending this pandemic. ‘COVID-19 Immunity in Our Community’ will provide listeners with reliable resources and information rooted in science, so they’re equipped to make decisions about their lives – and the lives of those around them.”…..Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios unveils two new original documentary podcasts series – “My Fugitive,” in which Emmy Award-winning documentarian Nina Gilden Seavey uncovers disturbing secrets hidden away by the FBI for decades that shed new light on one of the most famous cases in American history; and “Stay Away from Matthew MaGill,” the story of a mysterious man who died alone in the backwoods of Georgia leaving behind a treasure trove of clues, papers, and remnants of his stranger-than-fiction life of crime, luxury, and scandal – and how reporter Eric Mennel’s five-year journey to uncover the truth led him to question his own path…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces the debut of the “Politics of Food” podcast, an in-depth look into the intentional politicization, economics, and community impact of food on a global scale. Political strategist and organizer Cristina González hosts the show and talks with restaurateurs, executives at major food companies, farmers, consumers, and experts on a wide variety of issues. She also explores the impact of COVID-19 on restaurants, social issues like racism in food media, and the different ways political decisions work as a force to drive hunger across the globe…..The Tampa Bay Rays announce an extension of their comprehensive broadcast agreement with iHeartMedia Tampa Bay to keep play-by-play broadcast on sports talk WDAE through the 2025 MLB regular season.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Biden Infrastructure Plan/Tax Increases, Derek Chauvin Trial, Border Crisis/Immigration Policy, Matt Gaetz Allegation, Violence Against Asians, and Voting Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31). The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan and the tax increases necessary to pay for it; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the large number of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the allegation of sexual relations with a minor against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz; the rise in violence against Asian Americans; and Georgia’s stricter voting rules plus the Congressional Democrats’ bill to expand voting rights were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, March 29, 2021

| March 29, 2021

Monday Memo: Copy Worth Copying. “Make commercial copy you craft for local advertisers THIS crisp,” and, consultant Holland Cooke says, “you will make money.” In this week’s column, he rips-off…er, “compiles” examples. Read it here.

Pending Business: Checking In. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa says that you’re more likely get a renewal from that advertiser if you check in regularly instead of adopting the “no-news-is-good-news” approach to gauging a campaign’s effectiveness. “Great sellers are like commercial airline pilots, or cruise ship captains. Everyone is prepared with specific goals, timelines, and once the journey (schedule) begins, ready to control the mission.” Read his column here.

The ‘Todd Starnes Podcast’ Joins Salem Podcast Network. Beginning April 5, the “Todd Starnes Podcast” joins the Salem Podcast Network. Salem Media Group SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “SPN is delighted to join in this partnership with Todd Starnes, one of the leading voices in conservative America. His courage in saying what needs to be said is unmatched. His knowledge and ability to explain what is really going on is his forte.” With this deal, the Salem Podcast Network assumes distribution, marketing, and sales representation duties for the “Todd Starnes Podcast.” Starnes also hosts a daily, syndicated radio program and he previously spent more than a decade at the FOX News Channel, hosting a daily radio program on the FOX Radio Network. He comments, “Salem is known for its cutting-edge platforms and excellence-driven programming. I’m honored to join such a well-respected industry leader like the Salem Podcast Network.”

WJR-AM, Detroit Takes Station of the Year Honor. Detroit news/talk WJR-AM is named “Commercial Radio Station of the Year” by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for the 17th time since 2000. The Cumulus Media station also received 17 other awards, including eight “Merit Awards,” as well as nine “Best Awards.” Some of the “Best Awards” include: Regularly Scheduled Broadcast Personality/Team – “The Guy Gordon Show”; Sports – “Lions Pregame: Around the League”; Special Show Broadcast Personality/Team – “War of the Worlds” live stream event; and Continuing News Coverage – COVID-19 Replay.

iHeartMedia Names Barbara Latham Area President for Central Florida. Sales and management pro Barbara Latham is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia Central Florida in which she’ll oversee the Orlando and Melbourne markets that include talk WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1,” news/talk WFLF “WFLA,” sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game,” plus 10 music brands. She’s most recently been serving the Orlando cluster as SVP of sales. Latham reports to division president Linda Byrd, who says, “I am thrilled to be able to promote Barb to this position. We’ve worked together for 36 years and in many different capacities. She is one of the brightest and most competitive employees I know. Barb has always been a winner, and to her, there is no other option. No one deserves this opportunity more, and it makes me happy to put this team, that I’ve managed for the last 21 years in her capable hands.”

WABC, New York Recognizes Greek Independence Day. Pictured above (from l-r) are Chad Lopez, president of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC; Margo and John Catsimatidis, owners of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC, and Renee Cassis, owner of RC Communications Marketing on March 25 as the radio station hosted a celebration for the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence Day. The event was held in WABC’s event space, Studio 77. During his opening remarks, John Catsimatidis noted the diversity of America and stated that the celebration was for every ethnicity and race.

Josh Innes Returns to iHeartMedia as Morning Host at WNRQ-FM, Nashville. Sports radio talk host Josh Innes is joining iHeartMedia’s Nashville classic rock WNRQ-FM “105.9 The Rock” as morning drive host, effective April 5. The station says “The Josh Innes Show” will be a Nashville-focused blend of classic rock, news, sports and commentary and will broadcast weekday mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. WNRQ program director Jonathan Shuford says, “Josh is wildly talented as a personality, idea generator, and storyteller. He’s unconventional, creative, and exceptionally compelling. We’re beyond excited to welcome him to Nashville and foster in the next great classic rock morning show!” Innes was most recently afternoon host on Gow Media’s sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston. He’s also served with iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME-AM, Houston, and Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia. He hosts “The Josh Innes Show” podcast live on Twitch and heard on iHeartRadio.

iHeartMedia Issues Statement on FCC Ruling. The company’s statement issued on Friday (3/26) is in regard to the approval of its pending applications to acquire certain radio stations, and the temporary shareholder restrictions required by the FCC to be imposed upon Global Media & Entertainment Investments Ltd. The company says, “iHeartMedia values its shareholder relationships and we welcome all new shareholders to iHeartMedia. However, because GMEI is a foreign shareholder, its recent investment was inconsistent with the FCC’s foreign ownership rules and created an operating issue for us under the FCC’s regulatory framework. As background, GMEI’s purchase of an 8.7% position in our Class A Common stock, as reported in its Schedule 13D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 5, 2021, caused a violation of the FCC’s foreign ownership regulations and the FCC’s November 5, 2020 declaratory ruling related to the company’s foreign ownership, both of which limit a foreign investor in GMEI’s position to 5% without prior FCC approval. To address this issue, over which iHeartMedia had no prior knowledge or control, we filed a remedial petition for declaratory ruling requesting FCC approval for GMEI to have the ability to increase its ownership to up to 9.99%. Notwithstanding the GMEI investment, the FCC has approved iHeartMedia’s acquisitions of certain stations, including stations for BIN: Black Information Network. However, the FCC has required that the company impose temporary shareholder restrictions on GMEI as a condition of approving those radio station acquisitions. To comply with the FCC order, iHeartMedia’s Board of Directors resolved to take action consistent with the FCC’s conditional requirements. These actions include imposing temporary voting and other shareholder restrictions on GMEI which will apply during the pendency of the Petition. iHeartMedia respects the FCC process and will, as a matter of consistent policy, ensure the company’s compliance with the FCC’s foreign ownership and other regulations.”

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, CNN’s COVID War Special/WHO Origin Report, Suez Ship Jam, Border Crisis-Immigration Policy, Hedge Fund Failure-Financial Markets, Chauvin Trial, U.S. Afghanistan Operations, and Nashville Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., rising cases in some states, and the rollout of vaccines; CNN’s Sunday special featuring the six doctors leading the U.S. COVID program and the WHO’s report concluding the coronavirus likely came from an animal at a Chinese wildlife market; the status of the container ship blocking the Suez canal and its effect on the global economy; the crisis of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the failure of a major hedge fund causes problems for Credit Suisse and Nomura that could reverberate through the global economy; today’s beginning of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin; the United States’ Afghanistan operations and the Doha agreement that calls for U.S. troop removal by May 1; and the historic floods in Nashville and Middle Tennessee were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

February 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Four

| March 26, 2021

February 2021 PPM Data – Information for the February 2021 survey period has been released for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford.

Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 sweep covered February 4 – March 3.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as greatest (6+) gains and losses.

All comparisons noted are January 2021 – February 2021 (6+).

AUSTIN

News/Talk: KLBJ-AM 5.7 – 6.2, +.5, steady at #4

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: KTXX 2.2 – 1.3, -.9, #17 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: KUT 11.5 – 10.1, -1.4, first to second

Number One 6+ first month: adult contemporary KKMJ 9.8 – 10.6, +.8

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult hits KBPA (+1.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KUT (-1.4) and Spanish adult hits KLJA (-1.4)

RALEIGH

News/Talk: WTKK 7.0 – 6.0, -1.0, third to fifth and WPTF 2.5 – 2.3, -.2, flat at #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WCMC-FM 2.0 – 1.6, -.4, #17 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: WUNC 11.3 – 10.5, -.8, repeating at #1

Number One 6+ fourth month in a row: public radio news/talk WUNC 11.3 – 10.5, -.8

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult hits WBBB (+2.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: classical WCPE (-3.3, unlisted)

INDIANAPOLIS

News/Talk: WIBC 8.9 – 8.2, -.7, first to third

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WFNI 4.0 – 4.2,+.2, ninth to eighth and WNDE .7 – .5, -.2, flat at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: WFYI 5.5 – 5.7, +.2, steady at #7

Number One 6+ first month: adult hits WJJK 7.6 – 9.8, +2.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult hits WJJK (+2.2)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk WIBC (-.7); triple A WTTS (-.7); alternative WOLT (-.7); and rock WNDX (-.7)

MILWAUKEE

News/Talk: WISN 11.0 – 9.4, -1.6, repeats at #1 and WTMJ 6.5 – 6.0, -.5, third to fifth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WRNW 1.5 – 1.0, -.5, #13 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: WUWM 3.4 – 4.0, +.6, steady at #9

Number One 6+ second consecutive month: news/talk WISN 11.0 – 9.4, -1.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: hot AC WMYX (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk WISN (-1.6) and classic rock WDRV (-1.6, unlisted)

NASHVILLE

News/Talk: WWTN 6.8 – 6.7, -.1, fourth to third and WLAC 2.4 – 2.0, -.4, #16 to #17

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WGFX 4.6 – 3.3, -1.3, #9 to #11 and WPRT 1.1 – .7, -.4, unchanged at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: WPLN-FM 6.5 – 5.4, -1.1, fifth to seventh

Number One 6+ second successive month: adult hits WCJK 8.6 – 8.7, +.1

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: CHR WRVW (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: sports talk WGFX (-1.3) and classic rock WNRQ (-1.3)

PROVIDENCE

News/Talk: WPRO-AM 6.1 – 5.9, -.2, flat at #4

News – Talk: WBZ-AM steady at 1.6, unchanged at #14

Sports Talk: WBZ-FM 3.6 – 3.8, +.2, flat at #7 and WVEI even at 2.8, remains at #10

Public Radio News/Talk: WGBH 3.5 – 3.4, -.1, flat at #8 and WNPN 2.5 – 2.8, +.3, #11 to #10

Number One 6+ second successive month: rock WHJY 10.4 – 9.2, -1.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: variety WERS (+1.2)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WWLI (-1.4)

NORFOLK

News/Talk: WNIS 4.1 – 4.0, -.1, sixth to eighth

News: WNOH 1.2 – 1.0, -.2, #17 to #19

Sports Talk: WVSP 1.3 – 1.4, +.1, #15 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+ 28th month in a row: urban AC WVKL 13.7 – 13.4, -.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: rock WNOR (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: urban contemporary WOWI (-.6)

JACKSONVILLE

News/Talk: WOKV-FM 9.2 – 8.6, -.6, second to third

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: WJCT 6.2 – 6.5, +.3, steady at #4

Number One 6+ fourth consecutive month: adult contemporary WEJZ 9.4 – 9.2, -.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: country WGNE (+1.3)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: rock WWJK (-.9)

WEST PALM BEACH

News/Talk: WJNO 3.5 – 3.4, -.1, seventh to eighth and WFTL 1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #16 to #14

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: WLRN 4.8 – 4.4, -.4, fifth to sixth

Number One 6+ (Tie): hot AC WRMF (11th straight month) 8.7 – 8.5, -.2 and adult contemporary WOLL (first month) 6.4 – 8.5, +2.1

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WOLL (+2.1)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: urban AC WHQT (-2.5, unlisted) and classic hits-oldies WMXJ (-2.5, unlisted)

GREENSBORO

News/Talk: WPTI 4.7 – 4.2, -.5, flat at #9

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WSJS .4 – .5, +.1, #19 to #15

Public Radio News/Talk: WFDD 4.3 – 3.8, -.5, unchanged at #10 and WUNC 1.9 – 2.3, +.4, #13 to #12

Number One 6+ second successive month: urban AC WQMG 10.6 – 11.2, +.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic rock WKRR (+1.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WMAG (-2.0)

MEMPHIS

News/Talk: WREC 3.6 – 4.0, +.4, remains at #8

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WMFS 3.1 – 3.4, +.3, tenth to ninth; WMFS internet stream .5 – .6, +.1, #18 to #16; and WMC-AM .3 – .4, +.1, #19 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: WKNO 2.6 – 2.9, +.3, steady at #12 and WKNO-HD2 internet stream .2 – .4, +.2, #20 to #18

Number One 6+ first month: gospel WHAL even at 9.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: urban AC KJMS (+1.2)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO (-2.4)

HARTFORD

News/Talk: WTIC-AM 6.8 – 6.2, -.6, third to fourth and WDRC-AM (1.2 – 1.0, -.2, #14 to #15

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WUCS .6 – 1.4, +.8, #16 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: WNPR flat at 6.8, remains at #3 and WFCR unchanged at .2, #17 to #16

Number One 6+ 11th month in a row: adult contemporary WRCH 14.1 – 13.9, -.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: sports talk WUCS (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WMAS-FM (-1.2, unlisted)

 

Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

February 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Three

| March 25, 2021

February 2021 PPM Data – Information for the February 2021 ratings period has been released for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus.

Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 sweep covered February 4 – March 3.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as the most significant (6+) improvement and erosion.

All comparisons noted are January 2021 – February 2021 (6+).

PORTLAND

News/Talk: KXL 6.2 – 6.0, -.2, third to second and KEX 3.6 – 3.4, -.2, flat at #12

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KOPB 12.0 – 11.2, -.8, repeats at #1

Number One 6+ second month in a row: public radio news/talk KOPB 12.0 – 11.2, -.8

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KLTH (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KOPB (-.8)

CHARLOTTE

News/Talk: WBT AM & WBT-FM 6.6 – 5.5, -1.1, third to fourth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WFNZ 1.1 – .7, -.4, #18 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: WFAE flat at 5.1, unchanged at #6, and WNSC .7 – .6, -.1, #21 to #20

Number One 6+ fourth successive month: adult contemporary WKQC 7.3 – 7.5, +.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: hot AC WLNK (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk WBT AM & WBT-FM (-1.1)

SAN ANTONIO

News/Talk: WOAI 7.0 – 6.7, -.3, steady at #2 and KTSA 2.0 – 1.6, -.4, #17 to #19

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KSTX 4.4 – 3.7, -.7, #8 to #11

Number One 6+ second consecutive month: classic hits-oldies KONO-FM 7.8 – 8.3, +.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult hits KJXK (+1.4)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: hot AC KSMG (-1.0)

SACRAMENTO

News/Talk: KFBK 10.2 – 9.6, -.6, repeats at #1 and KSTE 2.2 – 1.9, -.3, flat at #13

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KXJZ 6.4 – 5.9, -.5, second to fifth and KQEI flat at .9, #19 to #16

Number One 6+ second straight month: news/talk KFBK 10.2 – 9.6, -.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic rock KSEG (+1.0); adult contemporary KYMX (+1.0); and urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: hot AC KZZO (-3.6, unlisted)

PITTSBURGH

News/Talk: KDKA-AM 5.6 – 5.3, -.3, flat at #5

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: KDKA-FM 7.9 – 7.0, -.9, unchanged at #4

Public Radio News/Talk: WESA 4.4 – 4.1, -.3, steady at #9

Number One 6+ third month in a row: classic hits-oldies WWSW 10.1 – 10.0, -.1

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: country WOGI (+.7)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: classic country WLYI (-1.1, unlisted)

SALT LAKE CITY

News/Talk: KNRS 7.9 – 7.0, -.9, first to second and KSL unchanged at 7.0, remains at #2 (tied with KNRS)

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KUER 6.4 – 5.7, -.7, flat at #4

Number One 6+ first month: adult contemporary KSFI 7.0 – 7.1, +.1

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: hot AC KBZN (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: classic rock KAAZ (-1.1)

LAS VEGAS

News/Talk: KXNT 2.9 – 2.2, -.7, #11 to #16

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KNPR 3.1 – 2.9, -.2, #8 to #11

Number One 6+ fourth month in a row: adult contemporary KSNE steady at 8.1

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic rock KXPT (+.6) and rhythmic CHR KVEG (+.6)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk KXNT (-.7) and urban AC KCEP (-.7, unlisted)

ORLANDO

News/Talk: WTKS 6.1 – 6.4, +.3, flat at #4; WDBO 3.2 – 3.3, +.1, #11 to #12; and WFLF 1.9 – 1.7, -.2, unchanged at #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WYGM 1.9 – 1.3, -.6, #18 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: WMFE 4.9 – 3.6, -1.3, seventh to tenth

Number One 6+ second straight month: classic hits-oldies WOCL 10.6 – 10.9, +.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: Spanish tropical WRUM (+1.5)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WMGF (-2.5)

CINCINNATI

News/Talk: WLW 7.9 – 8.8, +.9, second to first and WKRC 5.8 – 5.5, -.3, sixth to fifth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WCKY .8 – .9, +.1, #20 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: WVXU 3.9 – 3.2, -.7, #9 to #12

Number One 6+ first month: news/talk WLW 7.9 – 8.8, +.9

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: news/talk WLW (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: country WHKO (-1.2, unlisted)

CLEVELAND

News/Talk: WTAM 6.0 – 6.3, +.3, sixth to seventh

News: WMMS-HD2 flat at .1, #20 to #18

Sports Talk: WKRK 4.3 – 3.4, -.9, #11 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: WCPN 4.3 – 3.8, -.5, flat at #10 and WKSU unchanged at .6, #19 to #17

Number One 6+ third consecutive month: classic hits-oldies WMJI 10.0 – 10.5, +.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: country WGAR (+1.3)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: rock WONE (-1.7, unlisted)

KANSAS CITY

News/Talk: KMBZ-FM 5.1 – 5.7, +.6, sixth to fifth and KMBZ-AM 1.5 – 1.3, -.2, flat at #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WHB 3.0 – 2.4, -.6, #14 to #15 and KCSP 2.1 – 1.8, -.3, steady at #19

Public Radio News/Talk: KCUR 6.1 – 5.7, -.4, third to fifth

Number One 6+ third successive month: classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM 8.4 – 10.0, +1.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM (+1.6)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian KJNW (-.9)

COLUMBUS

News/Talk: WTVN 8.5 – 7.5, -1.0, flat at #4

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WBNS-FM 6.0 – 4.7, -1.3, fifth to sixth and WBNS-AM flat at .2, #17 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: WOSU 8.6 – 7.6, -1.0, first-place tie to third

Number One 6+ second straight month: country WCOL 8.6 – 10.0, +1.4

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: country WCOL (+1.4)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: sports talk WBNS-FM (-1.3)

Up next: February 2021 overviews for Austin; Raleigh; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Nashville; Providence; Norfolk; Jacksonville; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; Memphis; and Hartford. Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.  

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

| March 23, 2021

Premiere Networks to Continue ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’; WBOB, Jacksonville First New Affiliate. The 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET broadcast of “The Rush Limbaugh Show” will continue with archival audio from Limbaugh’s 30-plus-year syndicated program augmented by familiar talk hosts. Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation’s WBOB-AM/W266CX is the first new affiliate station. In making the announcement, Premiere Networks says, “No one can replace Rush Limbaugh, and Premiere Networks will continue to provide millions of loyal listeners with the voice of Rush for the long term. We have a variety of familiar voices who are guiding the audio of Rush for all of the important issues of the day, including recent guest hosts Todd Herman, Ken Matthews, and Brett Winterble.” WBOB general manager Jonathan McClellan states, “Rush Limbaugh is a pioneering force in broadcasting. He redefined talk radio and shaped the conservative political message for our country. WBOB is excited to add Rush’s program to our lineup. We value the future of his legacy, and we believe his talented team will drive the momentum of the movement far into the future. We welcome this monumental voice.” Limbaugh’s program launched into national syndication on August 1, 1988, with 56 radio stations, was heard on more than 600 stations at the time of the icon’s passing at age 70 on February 17. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments on this breaking story, “What an interesting turn of events. This is a multiple win for many elements of the industry. The winners include: 1) The fill-in hosts who’ve become familiar to the show’s regular listeners because they’ll continue to play a role in the show without having to carry the burden of being the ‘guy that followed the guy’ but never could fill his shoes; 2) Premiere, because they’ll continue to productively exploit the greatest brand in talk radio programming history and even though it could never be as big as it would have been with Rush alive, it certainly will maintain value and possibly evolve into something of lasting currency; 3) Other syndicated shows, because they now have a shot at being cleared in the valuable 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm space and get a viable piece of the pie. There are plenty of listeners and revenue to be shared in that huge mine; 4) Local hosts and programming because you can be sure many stations will turn inward during middays now that this big piece of real estate has opened; 5) Local stations, because they now have the options to choose from all of the above; and 6) the legacy of Rush Limbaugh, which will continue to live as a viable part of the national talk radio community. Bravo!”

Dana Loesch Inks New Multi-Year Deal with Radio America. Talk radio star Dana Loesch signs a new, multi-year contract extension with Radio America to continue to host her daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program “The Dana Show” that she’s hosted since 2014. Radio America says Loesch is “the most listened to female talk show host in the country” and has “attracted a large and loyal following in syndication, expanding the news/talk audience to include more men and women in their 30s and 40s, something the aging format desperately needs.” Radio America COO Mike Paradiso says, “We’re excited to continue the explosive growth that Dana’s show has enjoyed over the last few years. Dana has done what few hosts have been able to do, expand the talk format’s audience to make it younger, while still performing very well with the core talk demo. We think she’s uniquely qualified to lead the way during this transitional time in the format.”

Round One of February PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s February 2021 sweep covered February 4 – March 3. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets and reports that the unusual surge of listening to news and news/talk stations in January that was the result of the January 6 Capitol attack, its aftermath, and the beginning of the Joe Biden administration has leveled off. In New York, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR was flat at a 2.5 share (weekly 6+ AQH share) and Red Apple Media’s WABC was up three-tenths to a 1.9 share. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI was steady with a 5.0 share and the #3 rank while Entercom’s crosstown all-news KNX dipped four-tenths to a 2.9 share. Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM was flat with a 4.1 share but rises to the #6 rank and Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM lost two-tenths to finish with a 7.1 share but remains ranked #1. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway for this group of markets here.

Report: WFAN’s Jastremski Leaving for The Ringer. According to a piece by Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, WFAN, New York evening host John Jastremski is leaving the Entercom sports talk station to join Spotify’s The Ringer. As Marchard notes, Bill Simmons sold The Ringer to Spotify for a reported $200 million but continues to lead the platform. Jastremski’s deal with The Ringer will begin next month and will include him doing three to four podcasts per week.

WWO Blog: Podcasting Provides ‘Massive Head Start’ for New Radio Hosts. A study commissioned by Westwood One and conducted by Maru/Blue reveals “the extent to which Dan Bongino has used his podcast platform, social media presence, best-selling books, and TV appearances to build a strong brand among American talk radio listeners.” The study finds that a podcast star like Bongino enjoys a “massive head start and strong momentum” when launching an AM/FM radio show. It finds 64% of frequent news/talk radio listeners are aware of Dan Bongino and 78% of frequent news/talk radio listeners who are aware of Bongino rate him as excellent/good. Further the study finds, “An AM/FM radio show generates a new audience that is incremental to the podcast audience: the Maru/Blue study found that the Dan Bongino and Ben Shapiro audiences either listen to the podcast or the AM/FM radio show. Currently about 40% listen only to the podcast; 40% listen only to the Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino shows on AM/FM radio. About 20% indicate they have listened both to the podcast and the AM/FM radio show in the last month.” See the blog here.

TALKERS News Notes. The COVID stimulus is getting a radio sweepstakes treatment from iHeartMedia as the company presents the “Double Your Stimulus” contest in numerous participating markets. iHeartMedia is giving listeners the chance to win another $1,400 “stimulus check” that could result in up to six nationwide winners each weekday now through April 2. The company says that “given today’s challenging times due to the pandemic, iHeartMedia is seeing a nearly 20% higher response rate than any other cash contests in the past with winners benefiting from all across the nation.”…..USA Radio Network’s “Classic Radio Theater” adds three new affiliate stations for Wyatt Cox’s historical presentation of radio’s greatest programs of the 20th century. The show is now heard on WMIC, Sandusky, Michigan; KRVN-AM, Lexington, Nebraska; and KGUM-AM, Hagåtña, Guam. Cox says, “It’s a pleasure to give people a dose of history as it really happened – unsanitized and factual. While some stations may be pulling away from presentations of radio’s past, I view it as critical for understanding where we came from and how we got here today… our ‘Classic Radio Theater’ programs are not only great entertainment, but they are set in a background of history that puts all these programs in the context of the times.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One signs a deal with DCP Entertainment to distribute, market, and monetize the company’s new podcasts as well as its back catalogue. DCP Entertainment’s mission is to provide a platform for people of color, women, and LGBTQ communities, and to highlight stories around mental health, disability, and overcoming adversity. Current productions include “Say Their Name,” which was nominated for the 2021 Ambies Award “Podcast of the Year” and “Toure Show: The Central Park 5,” which was a 2020 Webby Award “Best Crime & Justice Episode” honoree.

‘The GRITIRON Show’ Starring Whitney Breaux Launches. The new podcast and YouTube show is being launched by former ESPN Baton Rouge radio host Jordy Culotta who expands his media network with the launch of “The GRITIRON Show” with Whitney Breaux – a show targeting women that premiered on International Women’s Day (3/8). The press release says “The GRITIRON Show” is a weekly podcast celebrating the perseverance, passion, and lifestyle of women on and off the football field. The show features Breaux and “a bevy of guests including women breaking the glass ceiling in sports from journalists, coaches, athletic administrators and sports executives to wives of players and coaches.” Breaux is a former Miss Teen Louisiana and global marketing executive. Culotta says, “We’re excited to add Whitney and ‘The GRITIRON Show’ to our network programming. I’m honestly shocked this is her first time behind a microphone. She’s a brilliant public speaker, her energy is infectious, and she’s always been passionate about sports.”

COVID-19/Spring Break, Border Troubles, Deadly Boulder Grocery Store Shooting, Biden Jobs & Infrastructure Proposal, Capitol Attack-Sedition Controversy, Cuomo on the Ropes, and Deshaun Watson Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/22). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states, worries about variants, the vaccine rollout, and the enormous spring break gatherings; the immigration problems at the U.S.-Mexico border; the mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado that’s left 10 dead; the Biden administration plans to introduce a $3 trillion jobs & infrastructure bill; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the report that sedition charges may be leveled at some; the allegations of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; and the growing allegations of sexual impropriety by massage therapists against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

February 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| March 23, 2021

February 2021 PPM Data – Information for the February 2021 ratings period has been released for New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 sweep covered February 4 – March 3.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are January 2021 – February 2021 (6+).

NEW YORK

News/Talk: WOR flat at 2.5, #16 to #14, and WABC 1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #21 to #19

News: WINS 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, eighth to ninth, and WCBS-AM 2.9 – 2.8, -.1, #12 to #13

Sports Talk: WFAN 2.8 – 2.5, -.3, steady at #14

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM 4.9 – 4.5, -.4, unchanged at #5

Number One 6+ fourth successive month: adult contemporary WLTW 6.5 – 6.8, +.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: urban AC WBLS (+1.2)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: Spanish contemporary WXNY (-.9)

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: KFI steady at 5.0 and unchanged at #3

News: KNX 3.3 – 2.9, -.4, #10 to #12

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KPCC 3.6 – 3.3, -.3, sixth to ninth

Number One 6+ first month: classic hits-oldies KRTH 5.6 – 5.9, +.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: Spanish contemporary KLLI (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news KNX (-.4)

CHICAGO

News/Talk: WGN unchanged at 4.1, seventh to sixth

News: WBBM-AM & WCFS 7.3 – 7.1, -.2, repeats at #1

Sports Talk: WSCR 2.3 – 2.1, -.2, #13 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WBEZ 6.7 – 6.4, -.3, third to second

Number One 6+ second consecutive month: news WBBM-AM & WCFS 7.3 – 7.1, -.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: alternative WKQX-FM (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: urban AC WVAZ (-.8) and adult contemporary WRME (-.8)

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: KGO 2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #16 to #19

News: KCBS-AM & KFRC 8.5 – 7.5, -1.0, flat at #2

Sports Talk: KNBR 3.5 – 2.9, -.6, sixth to ninth

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED 10.9 – 10.6, -.3, repeats at #1

Number One 6+ second straight month: public radio news/talk KQED 10.9 – 10.6, -.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KISQ (+.6)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news KCBS-AM & KFRC (-1.0)

DALLAS

News/Talk: WBAP flat at 4.0 and steady at #10

News – Talk: KRLD-AM 1.6 – 2.1, +.5, #21 to #18

Sports Talk: KTCK 3.6 – 4.1, +.5, #11 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: KERA 3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #13 to #15

Number One 6+ first month: adult contemporary KDGE 5.6 – 5.2, -.4

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: rock KEGL (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian KLTY (-1.3)

HOUSTON

News/Talk: KTRH 7.5 – 6.5, -1.0, tie for first to second

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KUHF 2.7 – 2.9, +.2, #16 to #17

Number One 6+ fourth successive month: adult contemporary KODA flat at 7.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: country KKBQ (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk KTRH (-1.0)

ATLANTA

News/Talk: WSB-AM 11.8 – 10.5, -1.3, #1

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WZGC 3.8 – 3.7, -.1, eighth to seventh, and WCNN 1.6 – 1.7, +.1, #18 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+ 21st consecutive month: news/talk WSB-AM 11.8 – 10.5, -1.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: CHR WWPW (+.5)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk WSB-AM (-1.3)

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: WKXW 1.8 – 2.0, +.2, #19 to #17, and WPHT 2.2 – 1.8, -.4, #18 to #19

News: KYW 6.4 – 6.5, +.1, second to third

Sports Talk: WIP 6.1 – 5.3, -.8, fifth to sixth, and WPEN-FM 2.6 – 2.5, -.1, flat at #15

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY 6.3 – 5.2, -1.1, third to seventh

Number One 6+ second straight month: urban AC WDAS-FM 8.6 – 8.0, -.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: rock WMMR (+1.3)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WHYY (-1.1)

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: WOR 4.1 – 3.2, -.9, #7 to #13

News: WCBS-AM 3.2 – 3.5, +.3, #11 to #10, and WINS 3.1 – 3.0, -.1, #12 to #14

Sports Talk: WFAN 4.3 – 4.0, -.3, fourth to sixth

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM 3.1 – 2.1, -1.0, #12 to #19

Number One 6+ second successive month: classic rock WAXQ 5.1 – 5.6, +.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic rock WBAB (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WNYC-FM (-1.0)

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: KFI 5.2 – 5.4, +.2, steady at #2

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KVCR .7 – .8, +.1, #28 to #19, and KPCC .8 – .4, -.4, #27 to #20

Number One 6+ sixth month in a row: Spanish adult hits KLYY 6.9 – 6.5, -.4

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: Spanish contemporary KLVE (+.6)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: rock KCAL-FM (-.7)

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: KGO 2.5 – 2.0, -.5, #11 to #12

News: KCBS-AM & KFRC 6.8 – 5.1, -1.7, second to fourth

Sports Talk: KNBR 2.5 – 1.3, -1.2, #11 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED 12.8 – 12.0, -.8, repeats at #1

Number One 6+ second straight month: public radio news/talk KQED 12.8 – 12.0, -.8

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KISQ (+.9) and classic hits-oldies KBAY (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news KCBS-AM & KFRC (-1.7)

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: WKXW 5.0 – 4.4, -.6, fifth to sixth, and WOR 2.0 – 2.1, +.1, #21 to #20

News: WCBS-AM 2.7 – 2.6, -.1, #14 to #16

Sports Talk: WFAN 2.7 – 2.5, -.2, #14 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM 4.1 – 3.4, -.7, sixth to tenth

Number One 6+ second month in a row: classic rock WAXQ 8.9 – 8.1, -.8

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: Spanish tropical WSKQ (+2.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: Spanish contemporary WPAT (-1.7)

Up next: February 2021 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Monday, March 22, 2021

| March 22, 2021

Pending Business: One Year Later. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa recognizes the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and notes that, while the radio sales climate is nowhere near where it was pre-pandemic, “the uphill process of slowly rebuilding an economy is emerging and it depends heavily on a foundation of sellers… you can feel the confidence of target business categories coming back as vaccines and mandated safety standards become more and more mainstream.” Read his column here.

Monday Memo: Lennon, McCartney, Marbourg. “Non-music stations – particularly AMs –are at a fork in the road,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. In this week’s column, he explains why “ambiguity is your enemy.” Read it here.

Salem Media Group Names Shaun Thompson WIND-AM, Chicago PM Drive Host. Weekend talk host Shaun Thompson is being promoted to the afternoon drive slot at Salem Media Group’s news/talk WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.” Thompson takes over the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show today (3/22) from Steve Cortes, who is leaving the station to pursue a new national television project. Thompson has been serving as a weekend and fill-in host on the station since 2016. He most recently filled in for Cortes from July through November of 2020 when Cortes took a hiatus to work on the re-election campaign of Donald Trump. Salem regional VP and general manager Jeff Reisman says, “It’s rare in radio to have transition as smooth as this one. Shaun Thompson has developed such a deep bond with our listeners because he was one of them before becoming a talk show host. He knows this city and this audience and what they care about. His passion and personality make him a unique talent. We’re excited to have him join the lineup as a full-time host.” Thompson says, “Twelve years ago, I made my first phone call to a talk radio station as a listener. Five years ago, I had the opportunity to host my first show on AM 560. During that time, I’ve come to appreciate this format and the listeners who spend time with us every day. I look forward to providing my perspective each afternoon and engaging with the audience. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I’m also thankful for Steve Cortes and his friendship. He’s made it so easy for me to slide into this role as he’s prepared to leave. I look forward to having him on the show as a regular guest.”

WPHT Supports Liberty USO Via Radiothon. WPHT, Philadelphia held its fourth annual USO Radiothon on Friday (3/19) between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm to raise awareness and funds for the USO of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. From the time a service member enlists, the USO is by their side until the day they transition back to the community. Through the USO Radiothon, WPHT brought many of the untold stories about the good work done by the Liberty USO to its listeners and raised awareness of the amazing effect that this charity has on active duty National Guard and reserve military personnel and their families. Co-hosted by WPHT morning host Rich Zeoli and mid-morning host Dom Giordano, the event raised thousands of dollars for the worthy cause. This year to aid the fundraising, Dom Giordano reached into his charity bag of tricks and called upon some national celebrities to each jot off a quick autographed doodle and send it to him be bid upon by listeners. Giordano tells TALKERS, “We had Bill O’ReillyBrad ThorGeraldo RiveraMike RoweHerschel WalkerLee Greenwood, and Jesse WattersNelson Perez, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, even contributed one. The doodles also provided a lot of fun during the broadcast and a listener even bid $300 for my wife’s doodle of me.”

Entercom Launches ‘The Bet 105.9’ in Chicago. A new, sports-betting focused radio station is hitting the air in Chicago as Entercom unveils “The Bet 105.9” on the HD2 channel of WCFS-FM. The station is a “BetQL Audio Network” and CBS Sports Radio affiliate and programs airing on the signal include: “BetQL Daily” with Joe Ostrowski and Ross Tucker, “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley, CBS Sports Radio’s “Tiki and Tierney,” “The DA Show” and “Reiter Than You.” Entercom regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson says, “Since legalization in 2019, sports betting has exploded in the state of Illinois and we’re delighted to enter the arena of this rapidly growing landscape to deliver insightful content to our listeners with the launch of this new station. The station will serve as the home for several favorites from the BetQL Audio Network and CBS Sports Radio Network, giving listeners a wide array of expert analysis.”

iHeartMedia Reveals New Downtown Cleveland Facilities. The nine Cleveland radio brands operated by iHeartMedia will have a new home by the end of the year. The company is moving to Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland and it says the 10-year agreement with K&D Group provides space for the stations’ studios along with the company’s sales, marketing, digital and Total Traffic operation in a new, state-of-the-art street level facility. iHeartMedia Cleveland president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We are thrilled to return our broadcast and digital operations to the heart of our city. Connecting our influencers, marquee talent, and operation staff with the downtown business district will further drive the passion to serve the community we all call home.” New office features will include five conference rooms, 11 studios featuring cutting-edge technology, eight service booths for news, traffic, and podcast creation, and phone audio sound via Sound+. A marquee broadcast studio and mixed-use podcast content creation room both face street level on Euclid Avenue. Studio designs are by Beneville Studios and AUX1 design.

Tom Hamilton Named Market Manager for Curtis Media’s North Carolina Sports Talk Trio. Radio management pro Tom Hamilton is returning to Curtis Media Group as the new market manager for the sports talk trio “Hub Sports” WSJS-AM, WMFR-AM, and WPCM-AM in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point market. Hamilton previously served as GM of WSJS and WMFR with Curtis Media Group from 2007 until 2011. Curtis president and COO Trip Savery comments, “We are very pleased to welcome Tom back to Curtis Media Group. He has enjoyed much success in the Triad for many years, and we look forward to Tom leading our efforts with WSJS Sports.”

Jerry Donadio to Lead Sales at ‘The Mightier 1090’ in San Diego. The Times of San Diego reports that San Diego sports talk outlet XEPRS “The Mightier 1090” names sales pro Jerry Donadio vice president of sales and marketing. Station operator Bill Hagen tells the paper that Donadio will be responsible for building revenue growth for “The Mightier 1090.” Donadio tells the Times, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I now have the opportunity to return to 1090 and build my own sales team. Prior in my career, I’ve always been in media sales with an existing infrastructure. I’m really excited to be part of The Mightier 1090’s renaissance.” Donadio was most recently serving with KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM as an account executive from 2017 to 2020.

COVID-19, Spring Break, Asian Protests, Border Crisis, Cuomo Troubles, Trump Social Media Platform, Chauvin Trial, and Deshaun Watson Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of COVID cases in the U.S., concern about variants and the rollout of vaccines; the chaos in Florida as the beach towns are inundated with spring break revelers; protests in the Asian community over the shooting deaths of six Asian women in the Atlanta area; the crisis of young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border; the allegations of sexual misconduct by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; the news that Donald Trump will launch a new social media platform within the next few months; the ongoing jury selection in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin; and the allegations of sexual harassment against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, March 8, 2021

| March 8, 2021

Monday Memo: Staples’ Savvy. Whether you’re a broadcaster or podcaster – “and ESPECIALLY if you write promo or commercial copy or if you sell” – consultant Holland Cooke urges humility about the listener’s attention. In this week’s column, he shares success tactics from the office supply superstore. Read it here.

Pending Business: Habits. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa is a fan of those books and articles that detail the habits of successful people and in today’s column he boils them down to three that have been used by successful radio sellers but are not always practiced these days. Read more here.

Will Marotti Announces Exit from WTIC-AM, Hartford. On today’s radio program, Pastor Will Marotti told his listeners of Entercom’s news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford that he’s leaving his radio program after this Friday’s show in order to focus on his role with the New Life Church in Meriden, Connecticut. Marotti hosts the late morning show (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) but he’s held numerous positions with WTIC over the years. He partnered with former Connecticut Governor John Rowland from 2010 to 2012 in the afternoon drive daypart. He took over that program hosting it solo after Rowland resigned from the station after being brought up on charges of campaign fraud and corruption. Marotti continued to serve as a fill-in personality but returned to WTIC to host late mornings full time after Jim Vicevich retired from his show in December of 2019 to focus on his battle with Lupus.

Debating Dr. Seuss.  The brand-new weekly podcast dedicated to tackling the education crisis in America – produced and hosted by WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano – is off to a flying start. In this week’s “Readin’ Writin’ and Reason” podcast, Giordano sits down with American University professor Omekongo Dibinga, one of America’s leading critics of Dr. Seuss. They debate Seuss, cancel culture, and critical race theory. Giordano also speculates on people who might still read Dr. Seuss to kids in public settings. This podcast series is particularly timely and potent drawing upon Giordano’s well-established reputation as one of the leading experts on education in talk radio. It can be heard at 1210WPHT.com and Radio.com.

January PPM Spoken-Word Summary. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final analysis of Nielsen Audio’s January 2021 PPM survey with today’s report highlighting the news/talk, news, sports talk, and public radio news/talk stations that finished in the top five (weekly, 6+ AQH share) as well as the five stations in each of those four formats that  posted the highest AQH share. See his report here.

Bloomberg Radio Marks Pandemic Anniversary with Month-Long Daily Series. Radio news service Bloomberg Radio is launching a special daily series titled, “A Year Like No Other,” that examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life and business in America. Syndicator Key Networks says the series “will draw upon Bloomberg’s vast resources to provide radio listeners with daily glimpses of what has changed over the past year, how it has changed, and whether it will ever again be the same.” The series debuts on Monday, March 15 and will take a look at a different industry or way of life that underwent a monumental change in the past year due to COVID-19. Al Mayers, global head of Bloomberg Television and Radio says, “The series will showcase the range of Bloomberg’s business journalism and our wide reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. We look forward to bringing this new content marking the past year to our audience.” Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Bloomberg’s news team has once again produced content for our affiliates that provides an in-depth look at a story that impacts listeners across the country. This is the type of service and information that Bloomberg affiliates receive 24/7, 365 that is second to none.”

Hubbard Radio’s WTOP Launches PodcastDC. Washington, DC all-news WTOP and sister WFED-AM owner and operator Hubbard Radio announce the debut of PodcastDC – a new podcast app built specifically for the Washington DC region. Hubbard says the new mobile app, which soft launched in January, showcases podcasts that feature voices, topics and stories that are rooted in the nation’s capital. Hubbard Radio VP of digital strategy Jeremy Sinon says, “In a world with 800,000 podcasts available, it’s easy to understand how local can get lost. If your main source of discovery for podcasts is one of the big podcast apps, you would have a hard time knowing that local content even exists. We’re trying to solve that problem by giving Washingtonians an app that is dedicated to serving them audio that caters to their local interests.” Hubbard says the new app is also aimed at making locally produced audio more discoverable and more profitable for its creators. Users will find hundreds of podcasts from independent local content creators like PodcastDC’s own marketing strategist Elly Rowe, who also produces and hosts the podcast “Women-Owned Wednesday By Elly Jane,” which highlights local female entrepreneurs, artists, creators and more. “The sheer number of podcasts and audio content available makes it hard to stand out on a more local level,” Rowe says. “PodcastDC creates an excellent opportunity to help highlight independent D.C. podcasters with content that is not only relevant to local listeners but also deserves more national attention.”

WHBY-AM, Appleton, Wisconsin Talk Host Kathy Keene to Retire. Longtime WHBY-AM, Appleton, Wisconsin talk host Kathy Keene announces she’ll retire from the station and her role as host of the “Good Neighbor Show” on May 28. Keene joined the Woodward Communications station in January of 1981 and on September 6 of that year became the host of the “Good Neighbor Show.” Woodward Communications says that during her time with the station, she was awarded the Social and Digital Media “Best Personality” award at the 2016 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards. She was recently honored in 2018 with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Local Legend Award. Keene comments, “Time has come for me to leave my career in radio. It’s been 40 years and it’s been a great 40 years, let me tell you. I have met so many wonderful people along the way. I have spoken with thousands of people: authors, teachers, historians, community leaders, artists and entertainers, experts in every imaginable field. And you, the ‘Good Neighbor’ listeners have always been a large part of the essence of the show. And I will miss you.”

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Stimulus Bill, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Relaxed Mandates & School Openings, Andrew Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations, Voting Rights Issues, Chauvin Trial, and Harry & Meghan Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Joe Biden COVID stimulus bill passes the Senate and returns to the House for a final vote on Tuesday; the plateauing COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; worries about relaxed mask and gathering mandates and the opening of schools; the growing number of sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his refusal to resign; Joe Biden’s voting rights bill passes the House and Georgia’s bill to alter voting times and requirements; the looming trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin; and Sunday’s Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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