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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

| September 13, 2022

Sales vs Customer Service. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine that in radio’s halcyon days of the 1990s, a salesperson could make a good living filling agency avails. “Those were the days of sitting in front of that huge desktop computer and typing out a schedule in Tapscan to make the cost per point. But was that really sales or was it mere customer service?” Carr says real salespeople will always be able to find a job and reveals five questions she asks a prospective seller to determine if they are really a salesperson. Read it here.

Salem Media Group To Boost Power. In a promotion that takes effect at the beginning of next year, Salem Media Group senior vice president Allen Power will be elevated to president/broadcast media. Chief executive officer David Santrella comments, “Allen Power and I have worked and collaborated closely for 18 of my 21 years with Salem. His keen operational experience, combined with his strong hand of leadership, provides a perfect combination to build a better future for the broadcast division.” Power notes, “My years with Salem have been the most rewarding of my career. Our dual focus on doing well – while doing good – provides a culture unique in media. I’m grateful for the leadership of our founders, Edward Atsinger and Stuart Epperson, and to Dave Santrella for the opportunity to play this role as our company continues to grow as a multimedia platform.” In other SMG news, senior vice president of operations Linnae Young is upped to executive vice president of operations & revenue development. “Linnae has been my go-to person every time we’ve had an opportunity to sell multiple marketing elements from several divisions to new clients,” Santrela states. “Her work in our industry on Salem’s behalf with many clients made this an easy decision for me. Linnae brings out the very best from those she works with; I look forward to seeing her touch across the entire division.” Meanwhile, Salem’s Chicago general manager/regional vice president Jeff Reisman is upped to senior vice president/operations, where he will oversee the company’s stations in eastern markets. According to Santrella, “Allen [Power] and I have worked closely with Jeff for many years. His track record in Chicago speaks for itself. He was the first building block to what is now our digital marketing agency, Salem Surround. These three promotions [of Power, Young, and Reisman] are all from within our Salem team, which is further proof that Salem appreciates/believes in our employees and rewards hard work and success.”

Remembering Lowry Mays. The founder and chief executive officer of what is now iHeartRadio, Lowry Mays, died yesterday (Monday, 9/12) at the age of 87. Mays co-founded San Antonio Broadcasting Company with Red McCombs 50 years ago (1972). They purchased their first radio station, San Antonio’s KEEZ-FM; three years later (1975), they bought a second San Antonio outlet (currently iHeartMedia news/talk) WOAI. The company became Clear Channel Communications then iHeartRadio. Born in Harris County Texas on July 24, 1935, Mays graduated with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge, Mays earned an MBA from Harvard University and became an investment banker. Mays continued his affiliation with Texas A&M by serving two non-consecutive terms (1985 -1991 and 2001- 2007) on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, including as chair from 2003 – 2005. In 2002, the school renamed its business school after Mays. Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp comments, “A really big tree fell in the Aggie forest. We will never forget what he did for Aggieland.” Texas A&M’s school of business was endowed by Mays in 1996 with a $15 million gift and was renamed the Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business. The university renamed the school once more in 2002 to Mays Business School. In 2017, the Mays Family Foundation gifted an additional $25 million, the largest single commitment in the business school’s history. Both gifts were part of an overall lifetime giving of $47 million. A 1999 Texas Business Hall of Fame inductee, Mays served as chair of the United Way of San Antonio and was a member of the associates board at Harvard Business School. In 2003, Mays testified before the Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. In an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, however, he remarked, “We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.” Mays was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, but suffered a stroke the following year. He stepped down as Clear Channel’s chief executive officer and was succeeded by his son, Mark.

Bloomberg Media Chief Mayers Is Retiring. Having joined the company in 2001 as Bloomberg Radio’s station manager, Bloomberg Media global head of radio and television Al Mayers is retiring from the company. Announcing the news in a staff memo, Bloomberg Media chief executive officer M. Scott Havens and Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait write, “Al has been a tireless leader at Bloomberg for over two decades, first in radio and now in his wider broadcast role. During COVID, it often seemed as if Al was single-handedly keeping us on the air. His retirement is a prompt for us to redesign the editorial side of Bloomberg Media – both in line with that philosophy and the broader changes in journalism and the media world. The lines between audio, video, print and live events have become ever harder to distinguish, especially as our audience decides when they want to watch, read or listen to our content. We need a unified approach not just to fit this world, but also to reflect the fact that Bloomberg Media is now an integrated global business, which surged almost 50% last year and has just realized another 24% increase in the first six months of 2022. So after Al leaves this month, David Merritt will become head of a new position, Bloomberg Media Editorial. [He] will oversee the editorial side of all of our media platforms – the website, all our audio and video, including BTV, radio, Quicktake, podcasts, events and our magazines. We are forever grateful for what Al has done for this company and wish him all the best in his next chapter on Cape Cod.” Mayers previously was general manager of Bloomberg Radio, overseeing the station’s programming, syndication and business operations. Michael Bloomberg named Mayers chief of Bloomberg’s global TV division in 2015.

Omnipresent air talent/media executive Nick Cannon will host next month’s (10/19) Marconi Radio Awards dinner during the NAB Show in New York. The ceremony returns in-person after a (COVID-caused) two-year hiatus. NAB executive vice president/industry affairs April Carty-Sipp comments, “NAB is excited to be joined by the talented Nick Cannon to honor the on-air voices and local stations that have shined brightest over the past year. We look forward to welcoming the broadcast community to this crowd-pleasing and lively celebration of the best in radio.” Ryan Seacrest will be presented with the NAB “Distinguished Service Award”; Paul and Fred Jacobs will receive the “National Radio Award.” Established in 1989 and named after inventor/Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Nominees for “News/Talk Station of the Year” include: KNX, Los Angeles; KRMG, Tulsa; KTMY, Minneapolis; WKXW, Trenton (New Jersey); and WLW, Cincinnati. “Sports (Talk) Station of the Year” nominees include: KNBR, San Francisco; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP, Philadelphia; WMFS, Memphis; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. Finalists for this year’s awards in all categories can be found here.

TALKERS News Notes. “Game Time With Boomer Esiason,” the syndicated TV interview show done by Audacy New York sports talk WFAN’s morning co-host, now has a podcast version. Introduced via Audacy’s 2400 Sports podcast studio, the standalone product will feature material not included in the broadcast version. Esiason remarks, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to expand our in-depth conversations with some of the biggest stars in sports through the launch of this new podcast. This show will enable us to dig deeper into what makes these icons tick and will deliver can’t-miss content for listeners across the country.” … Co-host of the podcast “For Colored Nerds,” Brittany Luse, succeeds Sam Sanders as host of NPR’s “It’s Been A Minute.” Vice president of programming & new content development Yolanda Sangweni notes, “Brittany is one of the most exciting and essential voices in pop culture podcasting. She brings deep curiosity, empathy, and joy to the mic and to her storytelling. We are beyond thrilled to be re-imagining ‘It’s Been A Minute’ with Brittany at the helm.” Luse states, “I’ve spent the entirety of my eight-year hosting career helping audiences to connect the dots between culture and current events. I look forward to continuing and expanding that work at my new home.” Formerly host of podcasts “The Nod” and “Sampler,” Luse will begin her new duties next month (10/7). … Following four months of being interim local host for New Hampshire Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Julia Furukawa has the job permanently. New Hampshire Public Radio president/chief executive officer Jim Schachter notes, “In Julia, we have a serious journalist in the ‘All Things Considered’ anchor chair. [She] connects with listeners across a broad, diverse spectrum; loves exploring New Hampshire; and understands that reporting the news is both a joy and a responsibility. Everyone at our studios knows she’s fun to be around, and now ‘ATC’ users can hear that.” Furukawa adds, “I came to NHPR [two years ago] thinking I’d mostly be behind the scenes, not behind the microphone. The team here has given me the chance to grow into a role I’ve always dreamt of being in; I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for what’s to come.” … Best known for her many reports from the front lines of world events, NPR international correspondent Anne Garrels has died at the age of 71. When Garrels arrived at NPR in 1988, she already had ten years of experience in television news at ABC, where she was bureau chief in both Moscow and Central America. Her NPR backdrops included the Soviet Union, Tiananmen Square, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. … VSiN launches three-hour (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) weeknight sports betting content on iHeartMedia Providence news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920.” In addition, Brent Musburger’s “Action Updates” will air twice a day. Meanwhile in Kansas City, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is airing short-form VSiN-produced betting features throughout the weekend. VSiN’s betting analysts will breakdown betting lines for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC West and other big games on that week’s slate. Elsewhere, Salem Media Group Honolulu sports talk KGU & K236CR “Hawaii Sports Radio Network AM 760 & 95.1 FM” airs VSiN’s “Final Countdown with Stormy Buonantony & Matt Brown” at 11:00 am. … For the second year in a row – and fifth time overall – Syndicated Solutions’ “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” earns the SATW Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Award in the “Travel Audio – Radio” category. The hosts comment, “Week after week, [our team] helps us create the most diverse and engaging network radio program. Collectively, we love the world of travel and all that it encompasses; we’re truly thankful to the wonderful sponsors who are aligned with us. We look forward to continuing to keep engaging, enticing, entertaining and empowering travelers to go explore the world. When that happens, it has such a positive impact on travelers, the travel industry and our society in general. The powerful megaphone we have to successfully impact travel is a blessing that we don’t take for granted.” The program is heard on 495 affiliates.

Nine To Be Inducted Into The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association HOF. Among those to be honored are Eric Jackson from Boston public radio news/talk WGBH; former Boston Red Sox television play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, most recently doing a select number of games on the Red Sox Radio Network; and one-time Boston Celtics Broadcasting president Gerald Walsh, who helped create Boston sports talk (and Red Sox radio flagship) WEEI. Massachusetts Broadcasters Association chair/Beasley Media Group Boston vice president and market manager Mary Menna remarks, “The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association is thrilled to be able to gather in person to celebrate these individuals’ lifelong achievements and contributions to our broadcasting community and to welcome them into the Hall of Fame.” Other inductees include Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien (“Bax & O’Brien”), who partnered together for over twenty years in Springfield on WAQY “Rock 102”; Laura Carlo, who did mornings for more than 25 years on Boston classical WCRB; Nancy Quill, a 38-year veteran on Boston adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7”; WCVB-TV, Boston journalist Jorge Quiroga; and broadcast executive Paul Kelley, the recipient of the 2022 “Pioneer Award.” Hall of Fame committee chair Peter Brown explains that award is given “to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in his or her particular craft. The award was established to recognize individuals who do not appear on-air, but their role helped influence and inspire the Massachusetts broadcast community to reach a pinnacle of excellence.” The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held next Thursday (9/22) at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

| September 1, 2022

KOGO, San Diego Launches ‘Slater & Lou’ Show. As part of a realignment of programming and a frequency swap in San Diego, iHeartMedia announces the launch of the new “Slater & Lou” program on news/talk KOGO-AM. Starring Mike Slater and Lou Penrose, the program will air daily from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm beginning today (9/1). Penrose had been hosting a one-hour show on KOGO and Slater had been hosting on co-owned KGB-AM “The Patriot.” iHeartMedia says, “The duo will join forces for a fast-paced, news-driven talk program for San Diegans that will focus on the day’s top stories both local and national. Slater’s extensive knowledge of history combined with Lou’s background in politics will provide listeners with an accurate understanding of topics and the impact they may have on people’s lives.” iHeartMedia San Diego director of news and programming Brian Long says, “Mike and Lou represent a fresh approach to talk radio. Joining KOGO’s lineup on the drive home next to ‘champion of government reform’ Carl DeMaio will provide the show with a great forum to deliver their unique perspectives to the KOGO audience.”

iHeartMedia San Diego Flips Frequencies; Adjusts Programming on News/Talk and Sports Outlets. Today (9/1), the frequency swap of iHeartMedia San Diego AM stations takes effect as the sports talk format heard on KLSD-AM “XTRA 1360” moves to KGB-AM where it will become “San Diego Sports 760” and conservative news/talk “The Patriot” moves to KLSD-AM’s 1360 signal as “The Patriot 1360 AM.” iHeartMedia president San Diego/Riverside region Noreen Ippolito states, “We are committed to delivering an audio sports platform with massive reach for our listeners and partners. Our goal is to reach fans wherever they are through the iHeartRadio App, KGB-FM HD2 simulcast, and on 760 AM’s massive day and nighttime signal which can be heard all over the West Coast.” The lineup on “San Diego Sports 760” remains the same, while the show lineup on “The Patriot 1360 AM” is now all syndicated with the move of Mike Slater to KOGO as noted in the story above. Talk host Mark Larson tweets that he also moves from KGB-AM to KOGO-AM to host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm “KOGO at Night” program.

Salem Appoints Tara Loring Eastern Regional Digital Sales Director. Audio sales pro Tara Loring is named Eastern regional digital sales director for Salem Media Group, effective September 12. Loring most recently served with Hubbard Broadcasting as general sales manager and director of digital media for the company’s West Palm Beach cluster. Salem VP and general manager Jon Latzer says, “Tara has been an active hands-on leader in both the broadcast and digital media industries for several years and her wealth of experiences will provide tremendous growth to our digital marketing firm – Salem Surround. In Tara, we have an individual who has experience working with multiple sales staffs and managing high-performance individuals. We are thrilled that Tara is joining our growing sales and operational efforts and will lead a team who is dedicated to helping Salem and our advertisers grow and thrive.” Loring comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the Salem Media team, one that truly embraces forward-thinking initiatives to produce real results for clients and partners. A big thank you to Jon Latzer, Jamie Cohen, and Dave Santrella for welcoming me with open arms. I look forward to taking my passion for building winning teams to Salem Surround and working with Jon to help continue their incredible revenue and operational growth.”

Edison Research: Top Podcast Genre is Comedy. Based on Edison Research’s data collected continuously from Q3 2021 through Q2 2022 by surveying weekly podcast consumers ages 18 and older in the U.S., the company reveals its list of the Top Podcast Genres in the U.S. and comedy once again takes the top spot as the genre consumed by most weekly podcast listeners. Here’s the updated Top 10 Genres for Q2 2022 in full:  1) Comedy, 2) News, 3) Society and Culture, 4) True Crime, 5) Sports, 6) Business, 7) Arts, 8) TV and Film, 9) Education, and 10) Religion and Spirituality.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Greta Van Susteren – host of the nightly Newsmax TV program “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” – has been honored by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who awarded her the Order of Merit, III Degree for her in-depth and hard-hitting project, “Putin’s Atrocities: Horror in Ukraine.” Newsmax says, “Much of the mainstream media has focused on weapons and the billions in financial aid given to Ukraine by the global community to fend off Moscow’s aggression. Van Susteren’s series, though, took a different tack, exploring the savagery displayed by Putin’s forces. Intriguing segments looked at reports of POWs being tortured and executed, alleged war crimes by Moscow, and the Kremlin’s campaign of terror against Ukraine’s women and children. Van Susteren says, “I have been on the ground in Ukraine and seen this war with my own eyes. Once you see it with your own eyes, you can’t turn your back. The world needs to know what is going on… especially the atrocities. This is why I am at Newsmax — the opportunity to do these important stories with great colleagues.”…..The WSB-AM, Atlanta-based, nationally syndicated Erick Erickson show adds new affiliate stations as KJJR, Kalispell, Montana and WETR, Knoxville add the program on weekends; WMAY, Springfield, Illinois puts the show on weekday evenings; and WDBO, Orlando moves the program into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Colleen Valkoun has exited her role as market president for iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee radio station operations that includes news/talk WISN, sports talkers WRNW-FM and WOKY-AM, plus four music brands. The Journal reports that Valkoun’s duties will be absorbed by iHeartMedia Area president Jeff Tyler…..Nielsen Holdings plc announces that at a court meeting and special meeting of its shareholders, its shareholders have approved the previously announced definitive agreement for Nielsen to be acquired by a private equity consortium composed of Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management L.P., and Brookfield Business Partners L.P. together with institutional partners. Shareholders approved the $28.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $16 billion, including the assumption of debt. The transaction, which is expected to close in October 2022, remains subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Nielsen will become a private company, and its shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

FBI Documents Investigation, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Biden Philly Speech, Student Loan Forgiveness, China COVID Lockdown, Migrant Busing, Russia-Ukraine War, and Jackson Water Woes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31). The FBI and Department of Justice investigation into the documents retrieved from former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago; the midterm elections, Sarah Palin’s special election loss, and speculation about the nominees for the 2024 presidential race; President Joe Biden’s planned prime-time speech tonight in Philadelphia; criticism of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; China’s COVID lockdown of 21 million in Chengdu; Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s busing of migrants to New York, Washington, and Chicago; the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the attempt to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; and Jackson, Mississippi’s water system failure were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

| August 30, 2022

Peter Boyles to Host Weekend Show on KNUS, Denver. Longtime Denver talk radio personality Peter Boyles is returning to Salem Media Group’s news/talk 710 KNUS to host a Saturday program airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective September 10. Boyles has been serving as morning drive host and recently announced his retirement from that full-time position. Last week, Salem announced that former Colorado district attorney and current Denver Post columnist George Brauchler has assumed daily morning show duties. Station operations manager Kelly Michaels says, “Pete is a Denver radio legend and we are blessed to have him back sharing his unique take on the issues of the day.” As part of the lineup change, Randy Corporon’s weekly program moves to Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. During his career, Boyles has served with numerous Denver radio stations including: KAAT, KLAK, KWBZ, KYBG, KHOW, and KOA.

WXOS-FM, St. Louis Morning Personality Michelle Smallmon to Exit for ESPN Opportunity. The Hubbard Radio sports talk station posts on its website the news that WXOS-FM, St. Louis morning drive co-host Michelle Smallmon will leave the “Karraker & Smallmon” program after this Friday’s show to join ESPN as overnight “SportsCenter” anchor for ESPN Radio. Earlier in her career, Smallmon served with WXOS as producer of “The Fast Lane” program that included her current broadcast partner Randy Karraker before she left to join ESPN the first time around. She rejoined WXOS in May of 2020.

Leon Williamson Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Indy. Broadcast marketing pro Leon Williamson is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster that includes WNDE “FOX Sports 1260,” WOLT-HD2/W248AW “Business News 97.5,” and three music brands. Williamson transitions to this position from iHeartMedia’s Miami operations. iHeartMedia Indianapolis market manager Kristy Beebe says, “We are so excited to welcome Leon to iHeartMedia Indianapolis. Leon’s unique skill set and passion to lead our sales team is what we’re most excited about. His familiarity of our brands and products, along with the experience he brings from different sectors will be a tremendous addition to our Indianapolis team.” Williamson has also served with Urban One in St. Louis and Cox Media Group in Miami. He comments, “I am extremely excited to lead the Indianapolis team with both my professional and personal skills. I look forward to creating a legacy and blazing a trail for young professionals in media that share my experience.”

Michael Burger Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Raleigh. Radio sales and management pro Michael Burger is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Raleigh station group that includes news/talk WTKK-FM and five music brands. Burger was most recently serving as SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Tom McConnell states, “Michael is a strong natural leader with high business acumen. He has introduced new strategic changes and created synergies between our content creators and revenue drivers that have helped fuel the overall performance for the market.” Burger comments, “I am beyond appreciative and grateful to be trusted with this opportunity. As Raleigh continues to grow, expand and flourish, I look to the future with excitement, encouragement and promise. iHeartMedia Raleigh has established itself as a fierce competitor in the market. We have positioned ourselves incredibly to not only be a destination source for entertainment, music, events, social media, and audio, but to help our clients tell their stories in a creative way that helps them achieve new heights.”

WWO AAG Blog: Performance Marketing Versus Creating Future Demand. This week’s Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog addresses the difference between the “buy now” marketing strategy versus one that seeks to “create future demand.” Some of the research-based findings in this study include: For the automobile category, only 3% are in-market for a new vehicle and consequently, sales event ads only work on the small group who are ready to buy. But looking ahead two years, 24% will purchase a vehicle in that time span and therefore advertisers who focus on creating future demand will have access to a much larger pool of potential customers. The report says, “When a business consistently uses brand building to create future demand and sales events to convert existing demand, great things happen.” It posits that the ideal budget mix is 40% for sales events and 60% to create future demand via brand building. Read the blog here.

KWTO, Springfield, Missouri Unveils ‘Uncommon Sense with Cass’ Program. A new weekend program will debut on Zimmer Midwest Communications’ news/talk KWTO-AM/K227AO, Springfield, Missouri called “Uncommon Sense with Cass,” hosted by Cass Bowen. The show launches on September 3 and airs Saturdays at 10:00 am. Zimmer says the show “will cover politics, culture, and social issues through a Christian conservative lens, and will feature a diverse group of guest interviews from politicians, local special interest groups, cultural commentators, and more.” Bowen serves with the station on the KWTO morning drive program as executive producer and air personality.

TALKERS News Notes. The content staff at Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp – operator of public news/talk WESA-FM and independent music station WYEP-FM announce their intention to form a union with SAG-AFTRA. The bargaining unit includes hosts and disc jockeys, reporters, editors, producers, and others. The group states, “We will approach this process in the spirit of collaboration and professionalism and urge PCBC leadership to do the same by voluntarily recognizing the union and begin bargaining in good faith with us. As a union town, Pittsburgh’s public radio stations should be union shops.” The bargaining unit says its goals are securing livable, equitable wages for staff, and improving the company’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. The union also seeks to create a more supportive and transparent workplace to help strengthen PCBC as an organization…..Community Communications’ public radio outlets WMFE, Orlando and WMFV, Cedar Creek, Florida announce they are launching a revamped version of the weekly arts, culture and entertainment segment “Spotlight” on Septempber 1. The segment, hosted by WMFE’s “All Things Considered” host, Nicole Darden Creston, will air at 4:45 pm on Thursdays. “Spotlight” will relaunch as both a four-minute radio segment and an extended podcast. The segment explores Central Florida’s arts scene from a unique perspective and amplifies voices not often heard. “Spotlight” will also share performances from creators of all stripes.

Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Biden Student Loan Plan, Russia-Ukraine War, Immigration, Musk vs Twitter, Droughts & Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the investigation into classified documents; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; migrant troubles at the U.S.-Mexico border; Elon Musk’s battle against Twitter to back out of his $44 billion acquisition of the company; the droughts and floods affecting life in America were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, July 1, 2022

| July 1, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Who Needs Fireworks?” looks back at this past week of 6/27 to 7/1. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Bill Brady, talk show host/owner, KFNX, Phoenix; Mark Simone, talk show host, WOR, New York; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; and Dr. Murray Sabrin, emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Jason Carr Named SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia West Palm and Treasure Coast. Programming pro Jason Carr moves from iHeartMedia’s Cleveland station group to the West Palm Beach/Treasure Coast markets to serve as SVP of programming, effective immediately. In this capacity, Carr will also serve as program director for talk WZZR-FM, West Palm Beach and WCZR-FM, Vero Beach “Real Radio” and for classic rock WKGR-FM “98.7 The Gater” in addition to overseeing programming on the 11-station cluster. Market president Mark McCauley states, “We’re excited to bring Jason back home. Jason’s market experience in Cleveland and his experience and familiarity of the West Palm Beach and Treasure Coast markets make him a great fit to grow our heritage brands and take them to new heights.” Carr comments, “I’m pumped to get in the trenches with this outstanding programming team. Managing a heritage rock brand like ‘98.7 The Gater’ will be a treat. Working alongside world class talent like WOLL’s Mo & Sally will be a treasure. My wild ride of a career started at ‘Real Radio 92.1’ and all these year later it is bringing me back to the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. To say I’m excited is an understatement!”

Harry Hurley Celebrates 30 Years at WPG, Atlantic City. Today (7/1) is the 30th anniversary of Harry Hurley’s hosting the morning show on Townsquare Media’s WPG, Atlantic City. Hurley says, “Our first guest exactly 30 years ago today was New Jersey Governor Jim Florio. Governor Florio was scheduled for one hour and asked on-air if he could stay for the entire program. Governor Florio’s willingness to appear on our brand-new, unproven talk radio program and travel from Trenton to appear in-studio really helped to launch our career going forward. To start our program with the state of New Jersey’s chief executive officer was priceless. It’s hard to believe that a full 30 years has elapsed. It seems like half that amount of time. It’s also hard to believe that we’re still at the same radio station, 30 years later, now called WPG Talk Radio 95.5. This is very rare in the radio business. I want to take this opportunity to thank my employer, Townsquare Media Atlantic City, our valued listeners and advertisers for making the past three decades possible. My sincere thanks and appreciation to our Townsquare Media Atlantic City leadership team: Michael Ruble, president, Joe Kelly, content director, Chris Coleman, program director, Jennifer Doughten Smith, marketing director, Jim McClain, general sales manager and Chelsea Masterson, digital managing editor.”

New TALKERS 2022 Video Posted. The latest video from the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University is posted. This video is of the panel discussion titled, “Attracting Younger Demos and Broadening the Base,” moderated by WOAI, San Antonio/Compass Media Networks talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo and featured panelists: Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Derek Hunter, host, WCBM, Baltimore/The Derek Hunter Show, TMN; John T. Mullen,operations director, WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University; and Doug Stephan, CEO, Stephan Multimedia/host, the “Good Day Show.” See the video here.

Local Broadcaster John Caracciolo Welcomes Attendees to Long Island. A number of talk media industry professionals served the critical role of introducing panel discussions and presentations at the recent TALKERS 2022 convention at Hofstra University. JVC Broadcasting president/CEO John Caracciolo (pictured below), whose company owns and operates a number of Long Island radio stations including news/talk WRCN-FM, Riverhead “LI News Radio,” welcomed the attendees to Long Island during the Morning Greetings session.

TALKERS News Notes. Public media pro Lindsay Foster Thomas is named vice president, WNYC Studios in which she will oversee the strategic and editorial direction of “The Takeaway with Melissa Harris-Perry,” “Death, Sex & Money with Anna Sale,” and “The United States of Anxiety with Kai Wright,” as well as oversee the pipeline and development process for new talk shows. Thomas brings over 15 years of experience in public radio, with a background that includes work at community, college and commercial radio stations. She joins WNYC Studios from WUNC, North Carolina where she served as content director…..iHeartMedia announces a new partnership with Swoop, which provides privacy-safe AI-generated audiences for healthcare marketing. iHeartMedia says, “Pharmaceutical and life sciences companies can now leverage the same brand-exclusive Swoop segments they already use for digital activation to better inform media planning across iHeartMedia’s ad-enabled broadcast radio portfolio, which reaches nine out of 10 Americans monthly, driving greater engagement and conversion, and ultimately increasing Rx lift. As one of iHeartMedia’s preferred healthcare data providers, Swoop enables healthcare marketers to move from legacy age and gender buying to data-driven broadcast radio activation in an ad-enabled portfolio that reaches more than 275 million individuals per month, representing 90 percent of the U.S. adult population.”

January 6 Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 27 – July 1. The bombshell testimony of former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson before the January 6 Committee was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics and Tuesday’s primary elections in Illinois, Colorado, Mississippi and elsewhere, followed by the state of the U.S. economy 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.

Friday, May 6, 2022

| May 6, 2022

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Mothers of Contention,” looks back at this past week of 5/2 to 5/6. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSHarry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaTodd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; and Gregg Stebben, correspondent, beamz.live. The show airs weekends on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; KMZQ, Las Vegas;  WTPL, Manchester, NH; WEMJ, Laconia, NH; WTSN, Dover-Portsmouth, NH; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPodcast Radio UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Roe v Wade Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 2-6. The leak of a draft decision indicating the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was partisan politics tied with the 2022 and 2024 elections, followed by January 6 committee activity tied with Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.