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Monday, August 15, 2022

| August 15, 2022

Monday Memo: News = Dog, Talk = Tail. Consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “events now unfolding around us can be ratings GOLD,” if news/talk stations “re-balance both aspects of the format franchise.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Worst Cold Call Ever. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes today about an absurd cold call that happened to him and reminded him that every now and then it’s a good idea for radio sellers to revisit some of the cold call basics. He has seven thoughts on the subject to share with readers here.

Cumulus Names Casey Bartholomew Host at WBAP, Dallas/Fort Worth. Talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew is joining Cumulus Media’s Dallas/Fort Worth news/talk WBAP as host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program. He takes over for Ernie Brown who was recently promoted to co-host of the station’s morning drive show. Bartholomew joins Cumulus DFW from Cumulus Columbia, Missouri, where he’s been serving as program director for news/talk station KFRU-AM/FM. WBAP and KLIF program director Bruce Collins says, “Casey is the ultimate pro and understands the top stories of the day that affect our listeners. We are excited to have him on the News Talk 820 WBAP team.” Bartholomew comments, “WBAP is a legendary station and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Looking forward to the challenge – This is going to be fun.”

iHeartMedia and ASU Agree to Hockey Broadcasts Deal. The new broadcast agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and Arizona State University puts play-by-play of the school’s men’s hockey games on sports talk KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” beginning October 11. The deal also includes a weekly coach’s show featuring head coach Greg Powers. Sun Devil for Life Tyler Paley returns to his roots as the first-ever play-by-play voice of Sun Devil Hockey Radio. A three-time ASU grad, Paley covered the ASU men’s ice hockey team extensively during his tenure at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2014-18. His experience spans years of various communications roles including multimedia journalist, anchor and reporter, social media strategist, commentator for Pac-12 Network and freelancer for CBS, FOX Sports and ESPN. iHeartMedia market president Linda Little says, “‘FOX Sports 910’ and iHeartMedia Phoenix are proud to partner with Arizona State University as they launch their inaugural radio broadcast for hockey play-by-play.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Mourns Passing of Jim Thompson. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the passing of its longtime president Jim Thompson. The BFOA says Thompson, who fought a valiant struggle against throat cancer for nearly a year, passed away last night (8/14) in Summit, New Jersey, at the age of 75, surrounded by his family.  The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, which has been established by the Broadcasters Foundation in honor of Thompson’s dedication and service to the broadcasting industry and to the Foundation’s charitable cause of providing financial aid to radio and TV professionals in acute need. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “I am very proud to have known Jim for nearly 40 years as a colleague and a friend. Jim believed deeply in helping others and his passion and enthusiasm for life always lit up a room. Broadcasting has lost a great man, who always saw the positive in every person and every situation. He will be sorely missed.” Thompson took over the reins of the Broadcasters Foundation in 2009, guiding the charitable organization to more than quadruple the amount of financial aid it distributes to radio and TV professionals from $400,000 to nearly $2 million last year. BFoA chairman emeritus Phil Lombardo says, “When the board of directors was searching for a president, Jim’s reputation as a leader combined with his compassion for others and his ability to rally people together made him the perfect choice. His accomplishments over the past 13 years helped the many TV and Radio professionals who found themselves in unthinkable circumstances and in need of aid. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family.” Last October, Thompson announced he would be retiring at the end of 2022. Thompson had been president and CEO of Group W Radio, the second largest radio company in the country during his leadership, and along with Mike Craven was co-owner of Liberty Broadcasting, a nineteen-station radio group concentrated on the east coast. He began his broadcasting career as an account executive at KYW-TV, Philadelphia in 1971, where he rose to vice president and general manager. Thompson is survived by his wife Cindy, his five children, Meghan Cima, Shannon Gardiner and her husband James, Katie McElwee and her husband Tommy, James Thompson and his wife Madison, Molly Thompson, seven grandchildren, and his brothers John and Thomas. To make a donation to the Jim Thompson Memorial Fund, please click here: https://bfoa.app.neoncrm.com/forms/jimthompsonfund.

FSR’s Doug Gottlieb Broadcasts from LA Football Training Camps. Pictured above (right) is FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb chatting with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (left) during Gottlieb’s broadcast from the team’s training camp on August 9. Gottlieb broadcast from the Rams’ and the Los Angeles Chargers’ camps as part of the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.

PodcastOne Strikes Deal with ActionPark Media. This new relationship between PodcastOne and Kevin Connolly’s boutique media network ActionPark Media gives PodcastOne exclusive distribution and advertising sales rights for APM’s current slate of podcast and vodcast programming. In addition, it allows for the two media companies to co-develop future podcast/vodcast based intellectual property, produce advertiser-sponsored live streaming and touring opportunities for host/talent and create exclusive licensing for podcast specific branded merchandise. PodcastOne president Kit Gray states, “Kevin and APM clearly have a knack for producing quality podcast content with ‘Victory the Podcast’ being one of the first shows giving a behind the scenes look at a hit television series and ‘The Morning After with Kelly Stafford’ consistently charting as one of the top shows for parents and families. This joint venture now gives us the ability to work together to grow the audience for a slate of incredible existing shows. Additionally, with LiveOne’s streaming partnerships, live event capabilities and merchandising division, we are excited to further enhance branding opportunities for the star-studded roster of hosts.”

Gunhill Road Spoken Word Music Video on Display as “Work of Art” in Show at Florida Gallery. The internet hit, “I Know You’re Real,” by talk-radio-friendly pop music band Gunhill Road, featuring TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as lead spoken word vocalist, has broken new ground in the genre of music video being recognized as fine art. The official video of the song which appears on Gunhill Road’s 2021 album, What Year Is This! addresses the subject of animal welfare celebrating all aspects of the deep relationship between human beings and other precious life forms on Planet Earth. The art show, being presented at the prestigious Martin Arts Court House Cultural Center Gallery in Stuart, FL, is cleverly titled, “Dog Days of Summer (and other pets too!).” The show centers on animal-related fine art (paintings and sculpture). It runs through October 1 and features a virtual gallery as well as a live presentation and includes charitable community outreach initiatives such as animal rescue and pet adoption. Martin Arts spokesperson Rickie Leiter tells TALKERS, “I grew up in the Northeast listening to Gunhill Road on the radio and was delighted to hear about this beautiful video with its sweet music, moving words and stunning images. It is indeed a work of visual, not to mention audio and poetic, art.” Gunhill Road co-founder (and devoted cat lover), Steve Goldrich tells TALKERS, “We are beyond honored to have our video on display among paintings at a fine art show of this caliber.” In addition to Goldrich and Harrison, Gunhill Road’s current lineup includes longtime member Paul Reich and famed Broadway instrumentalist Brian Koonin. An advance single (and video) titled, “Idiots,” from the group’s forthcoming album, spotlighting the danger of societal ignorance and also featuring Harrison on lead vocals, is scheduled to drop later this week. Both videos are produced by TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison. For more information about the show and Martin Arts please click here. To view the video, please click here

FBI Raid/Bureau Threats, Inflation Reduction Act/The Economy, Salman Rushdie Attack, Immigration/Baja Violence, Midterms/2024 Race, Afghanistan Situation, and Anne Heche Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the subsequent threats against FBI offices; the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act spending, the falling price of oil, and the still climbing price of food; the attempted assassination of author Salman Rushdie; the migrant issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the weekend’s cartel violence in Baja cities near the border; the primary elections for the November midterms and speculation about the nominees in the 2024 presidential race; the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan a year after the U.S. military’s exit from the nation; and actress Anne Heche dies a week after a fiery car wreck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

| August 3, 2022

Testimony in Damages Phase of Alex Jones Sandy Hook Case in Texas Wraps. Plaintiffs in the Texas suit against InfoWars chief Alex Jones had won their defamation case and yesterday testimony in the damages phase of the trial wrapped up. They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages of $150 million for Jones’ false claims that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a staged event and their children were “crisis actors.” Plaintiffs testified that they have been threatened and harassed for years by Jones’ followers. The case, reported here by CNN, is being complicated by Jones’ attempt to file for bankruptcy for his Free Speech Systems (parent of InfoWars) which plaintiff attorneys claim is an attempt to hide his money from the courts. Plaintiff attorneys also say that Jones has drawn $62 million in assets from Free Speech Systems over the past two years in an attempt to hide assets from the courts. Jones was also found liable for damages in a Connecticut court and jury selection for the damages phase of that trial began yesterday.

Wayne Allyn Root Expands Television Presence. Las Vegas-based talk host Wayne Allyn Root, host of the “Wayne Allyn Root: Raw & Unfiltered” program syndicated by USA Radio, announces he’s launching a new, daily video program on the Mike Lindell TV platform. The program is to broadcast at 7:00 pm ET and is tentatively set to start on August 15. Root also promises another new show – a video and audio podcast – to be announced in the near future. He comments, “Why is my brand exploding? The American people have woken up. They want real news and raw truth. I hold nothing back. I just give my opinions and tell raw truth. I don’t sugar coat it or worry about who I offend. Truth is truth. That’s the only way we’re going to save the greatest nation in world history, ever blessed by God. With truth, action and courage.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Newsmax-syndicated “Rob Carson Show” adds new affiliates as WJFN-AM, Norfolk, Virginia (part of the John Fredericks Radio Network) puts the program in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Also, Lotus Communications KVI, Seattle adds “The Rob Carson Show Weekend” program to its Sunday schedule. Newsmax launched the program into syndication 10 months ago and it is now heard in 19 markets across the country…..Milwaukee talk radio host Dr. Ken Harris is of three radio personalities among the numerous journalists and broadcasters who will serve as a members of the broadcast team for the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s debates for the state’s gubernatorial and senate races. The organization has been producing the debates for the past 32 years. Dr. Harris is the afternoon host at Good Karma Brands’ talk WGKB-AM/W269DL, Milwaukee. Also on the team is Brad Williams, anchor/reporter at Mid-West Family’s news/talk WIZM-AM, La Crosse and Jonathan Krause, director of multimedia journalism at Woodward Radio Group in Appleton.

INTERESTING – A Talk Radio Listener Wrote to TALKERS on Facebook: “Can I give your industry a clue? Lots of people still listen to the radio every day at work. You think because nobody calls the station anymore that you have no listeners. Businesses nowadays have all their employees under video surveillance and if they see you on the phone you are subject to disciplinary action. We still hear you, but we can no longer interact with you.”

RIP Vin Scully. In recognizing the passing of the legendary Dodgers play-by-play man, consultant Holland Cooke writes: “He was the voice of the Dodgers, from Jackie Robinson to Clayton Kershaw. Though LA listeners knew him best, fans everywhere remember his historic World Series calls. 1988 Game 1 was one for the ages. Working solo for decades as two- or three-voice broadcast teams became the norm, Vin Scully sounded like he was watching the game sitting next to you. The Athletic called him ‘the solitary voice emanating over the airwaves. He was renowned for his spellbinding monologues, his folksy wisdom and his sense of the moment — some of Scully’s most famous calls revolved around silence, his usage of the crowd to tell a story that words could not justify.’”

Public Radio Syndication Pioneer Larry Josephson Dies at 83. The Washington Post has the obituary here for longtime public radio personality, producer and syndicator Larry Josephson, who passed away on July 27 at age 83. A computer engineer by trade, he joined the volunteer staff at fledgling public radio outlet WBAI, New York in the mid-1960s. He quickly transitioned to the morning drive host. As the Post notes, Josephson “went on to create five decades of public radio programs, reviving the popular and influential “Bob & Ray” comedy team for a new generation of fans, hosting a nationally syndicated series of discussions between conservative thinkers and an argumentative but charming liberal (himself), and producing marathon readings of James Joyce’s Ulysses and a documentary history of the Jews.” He built a radio studio in a bedroom of his Upper West Side apartment from which he would produce his own shows and a number of other public radio programs.

Pelosi Taiwan Visit, Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Abortion Laws, The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, and Vin Scully Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/2). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and China’s reaction; the primary races for the November midterm elections and speculation over the nominees for president in the 2024 race; the abortion laws being enacted in various states in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v Wade; the high price of gasoline and food and the ManchinSchumer authored Inflation Reduction Act; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the global economic impact; and legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully dies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

| May 3, 2022

Joe Gallagher to Return to WGY, Albany for Weekend Shows. The Albany Times-Union reports that talk host Joe Gallagher is returning to iHeartMedia’s news/talk WGY-AM/FM, Albany to host a one-hour program at 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Gallagher was let go from the station in 2020. He’d served as the station’s afternoon drive host for years and was hosting weekends when he departed in pandemic-related staff reductions. WGY news and program director Jeff Wolf says, “He’s been gone about two years, and pretty much on a weekly basis I get listener feedback saying ‘Bring Joe back.'” Gallagher hosted a few special programs earlier this year and that started the ball rolling in getting him back on a scheduled show. Wolf adds, “We were thrilled. He was all about it and, obviously, we are too.”

 

Wilson Named Operations Manager for Cumulus Media Mobile. Radio programming pro Vincent “Mojo” Wilson joins Cumulus Media’s Mobile, Alabama station group that consists of news/talk WXQW-AM and four music brands as operations manager. He’ll also serve as PD for WXQW-AM and CHR WABD-FM. Wilson was most recently director of operations for Southern Broadcasting in Florence/Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Cumulus Mobile VP and market manager Don Boyd says, “‘Mojo’ is a talented programmer and on-air personality with a strong track record leading urban, CHR, Gospel and news/talk stations. He will be an excellent addition to our top performing team in Mobile as operations manager of our five-station group.”

 

Greta Van Susteren to Moderate Newsmax’s Pennsylvania Senate Primary Debate. News/talk television personality Greta Van Susteren is moderating tomorrow’s Newsmax debate between the top contenders for the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat that’s being vacated by retiring Senator Pat Toomey. The debate will take place on the campus of Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania in which Van Susteren will moderate candidates Dr. Mehmet Oz, David McCormick, Ambassador Carla Sands, Kathy Barnette, and Jeff Bartos. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy says, “Pennsylvania is one of the most important states on the national map. And this race will have national implications, so we’ll be hosting this Newsmax debate live for all Americans to watch.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former Chicago Bears great Olin Kreutz has been let go from his contributor role at the new digital sports venture CHGO Sports after he physically attacked a fellow staffer on Monday (5/2). Kreutz is also a contributor to Audacy’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” and NBC Sports Chicago. Kreutz is apparently not disputing the incident. He tweeted a picture of Mike Tyson with the text: “Social media made y’all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.”…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces that Alex Siciliano is joining the organization as senior communications strategist. Siciliano reports to NAB chief of staff and EVP of public affairs Michelle Lehman. In this newly created position, Siciliano will lead NAB’s public relations efforts on key advocacy issues, developing and implementing media relations strategies to advance broadcasters’ policy agenda before Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Siciliano was most recently VP of communications at The Petrizzo Group. NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says, “Alex has years of experience in shaping and executing effective messaging campaigns on policy issues. Broadcasters will benefit from his deep advocacy background as he shapes NAB’s communications on the most important issues facing our industry. We are thrilled to welcome him to NAB.”…..The Freakonomics Radio Network names Neal Carruth as EVP and general manager. Carruth most recently led NPR’s news podcasting strategy, and his responsibilities at Freakonomics Radio Network will include helping to set the strategic and editorial direction of the organization. His hiring follows the March appointment of Gabriel Roth from Slate as editorial director. Carruth says, “For years now, I’ve been a serious fan of the work that Stephen Dubner and the team have done on the Freakonomics Radio podcast. I love the podcast’s combination of curiosity, rigor, and delight. I can’t wait to work with the team to grow the audience for the current slate of shows and to help them develop new properties. I’m so excited about this opportunity to help increase the reach and the impact of the Freakonomics Radio Network.”…..SiriusXM announces that entrepreneur, investor, best-selling author, and founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, Randi Zuckerberg, will host a new SiriusXM original podcast titled, “Crypto Café With Randi Zuckerberg.” SiriusXM says, “With cryptocurrency being a hotly debated topic, Zuckerberg’s new podcast will feature both casual and educational conversations with metaverse experts, tech futurists, and top business executives who will share industry tips and explain the skills and foundational knowledge necessary to navigate the crypto ecosystem safely and successfully.”

 

The Economy, January 6 Conviction, Roe v Wade Leak, Midterm Primaries/Trump & the GOP, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, Musk & Twitter, and Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). The state of the U.S. economy, including falling stock and bond prices, ongoing supply chain issues and employment; a retired New York cop is convicted of assaulting a police officer in the January 6 Capitol attack; the unprecedented leak of a draft decision indicating the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade; the primary battles ahead of the November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine; concerns about the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in some parts of the U.S.; Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter; and the impact of the Western drought on cities in the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, February 7, 2022

| February 7, 2022

Monday Memo: But Wait, There’s More! “Are you making these six common on-air mistakes?” consultant Holland Cooke asks in this week’s follow-up to last week’s column. HC calls these “simple techniques that make your show more inviting, user-friendly, and memorable.” Read more here.

 

Pending Business: “F” is for Frequency. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says, “The more social media I consume, the more I see the same ads over and over. Many advertisers do not bother changing creative. Others just update slightly. But the repetition is there, every day, non-stop.” He says local direct sellers must continue to show how a radio campaign can deliver targeted reach AND frequency more effectively than any other medium. Radio advertising is adaptable in ways other advertising is not. “With the right amount of repetition and updated copy with a solid call to action” radio is more effective than any other medium. Read his column here.

iHeartMedia Names Bloomdaddy Afternoon Host on WTAM, Cleveland. Three months after the passing of Cleveland talk radio icon Mike Trivisonno, iHeartMedia announces that David Blomquist, a.k.a. Bloomdaddy, is the new afternoon drive talk host on heritage news/talk outlet “Newsradio WTAM 1100, The Big One.” Bloomdaddy has been the morning show host at the company’s WWVA, West Virginia, for the past 17 years. The program was syndicated regionally to stations in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, and Parkersburg, West Virginia.  Bloomdaddy will now call WTAM 1100 his home. iHeartMedia says the newly created Cleveland-centric, issues-based afternoon show will feature broadcasting veteran Carmen Angelo, news reports from Julie Holiday, and regularly scheduled traffic reports from Olivia Muzica. iHeartMedia Cleveland president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We’re thrilled to introduce Bloomdaddy to WTAM and the city of Cleveland. His passion for sports, his quest for information, and his commonsense approach to talk radio is the perfect combination for afternoon drive on the legendary WTAM.” Bloomdaddy comments, “I’m thrilled to launch this new show on a station that means so much to Cleveland. From the minute I turned the mic on at WTAM, it’s felt like home.  I look forward to having impactful conversations with my new radio family and learning even more about this incredible city.”

Bryan Suits Named Morning Host at KTTH, Seattle. Military veteran and talk radio personality Bryan Suits is back on the radio as morning host at Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH-AM, Seattle. Suits was an evening host on sister talk outlet KIRO-FM from 1999 through 2002. He’s also hosted at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and KFI, Los Angeles. He hosts a podcast and is a frequent guest on FOX Business. Suits says, “When we moved back to Western Washington, the last thing on my mind was radio. After filling in on KTTH mornings, I realized that I was born to do this. This is where I started and found my voice. Someone has to reflect what the sensible people are thinking and thankfully KTTH is doing that. I’m humbled and grateful to be part of the team that tells the truth every day.” Bonneville SVP and market manager Cathy Cangiano says, “KTTH is the region’s leading conservative talk station because of our passionate, local hosts. Bryan Suits makes us even stronger. As we head into the midterm elections, KTTH is poised to make some waves.”

Erin Vermeulen Promoted to Evening News Anchor on WWJ, Detroit. Radio news pro Erin Vermeulen is being promoted to evening news anchor at Audacy’s all-news WWJ, Detroit “NewsRadio 950.” She’d been serving the station as writer and editor for the station. WWJ notes that her career has taken her to the Cairo, Dubai, Oman and South Africa before returning to the United States and working at KFI, Los Angeles as a member of “The Bill Handel Morning Show” in 2015. Vermeulen says, “I am really excited to get back to my radio roots as a news presenter at one of the most iconic stations in the country. I am also very grateful to work with such talented and extraordinary people at WWJ. It is great to be back on the airwaves in my hometown, where I started my career more than 20 years ago.” Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “Erin is well connected to the community and has a number of great ideas to keep listeners informed about the top stories and events happening across metro Detroit, the state and the country. We are excited to promote Erin to anchor and look forward to hearing her voice on WWJ.”

WGY, Albany to Celebrate 100th Anniversary with Special Broadcast and Podcast. Albany AM WGY will celebrate its 100th anniversary on air on February 20 with a number of special presentations, including a live celebration at 1:00 pm that day. On January 31, iHeartMedia began presenting the podcast series, “Wireless: 100 Years of WGY.” The program is hosted by WGY news anchor Mike Patrick and features intimate and candid interviews with many familiar WGY voices, with new episodes released weekly. On February 20, many past and present hosts, news anchors and members of New York’s Capital Region will take part in the special live event. A retelling of radio’s first radio drama, “The Wolf,” will also be presented live from the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany where WGY has a history of broadcasting from going back to 1923. The event at the Kenmore begins at 3:00 pm with a lecture from Chris Hunter from the Museum of Innovation and Science. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “It’s an honor and huge responsibility to lead an institution of innovation and community service such as WGY into its next 100 years. We’re looking forward to highlighting our first 100 years and commemorating important events in history throughout 2022.” iHeartMedia Albany SVP of programming John Cooper adds, “As a longtime Capital Region resident, WGY has had an impact on my life since the early 60s. Starting as a listener, it has been an honor and privilege to have been able to work directly with some of the great news/talk programmers and personalities over my last 22 years. 100 years of service to this community is an amazing milestone. WGY is the go-to station when you need to know.”

‘The Next Great Podcast’ Winner Named. The winner of the second annual “The Next Great Podcast” contest from iHeartMedia and Dan Patrick, in partnership with Tongal, is, “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South,” from Dr. Lindsay Byron. Byron is a former English professor, Southern historian and longtime stripper turned full-time artist, storyteller and community leader. “Hookergate: Criminals & Libertines in the South” takes listeners back in time to 1977 when a high-profile prostitution ring involving 11 businesses in three states was the most-talked-about headline of the day. The podcast combs through the dusty archives of the Danville Register & Bee, which were carefully clipped and preserved by Lindsay’s aunt’s mama, who held a familial connection to this web of crime. The program shares unforgettable colorful quotes from local reporters and unbelievable but true dramatic scenes pulled straight from the police reports. It’s all brought to life by Byron and presented alongside present-day interviews with individuals from the older Southern generation, who remember the madness as it unfolded in real time.

TALKERS News Notes. Clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrated her 25th anniversary show with her February 5 episode of “The Rational Basis of Happiness.” Dr. Kenner tells TALKERS she enjoys the unique connection that only radio provides and is looking forward to her 26th year on air of her syndicated show. “The Rational Basis of Happiness” is distributed via Talk Media Network…..Sports talk personality Kevin Dunn leaves Genuine Austin Radio’s “The Horn” (KTXX-FM/KTAE-AM/W270CO) in Austin for a full-time position outside the radio business and Mike Hardge joins the station to co-host afternoons with incumbent host Rod Babers.

COVID-19, Ukraine Tensions, January 6 Investigation, Electoral Count Act, Spotify-Joe Rogan Controversy, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, and Beijing Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad and the Canadian truckers’ protests paralyzing Ottawa; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and former Vice President Mike Pence’s deviation from Donald Trump’s stance on the day’s events; the re-writing of the Electoral Count Act led by Senators Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski; the diplomatic tensions over Russia’s military build-up; Spotify supports Joe Rogan but deletes numerous episodes of his podcast after racially tinged comments contained within them resurface; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; and the politics and COVID issues surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

| December 14, 2021

Good Karma Brands to Acquire ESPN Stations in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The three sports talk radio stations owned by Disney/ESPN are being acquired by Good Karma Brands, LLC under a deal that is expected to close during the first quarter of 2022. The stations are WEPN-AM, New York; KSPN-AM, Los Angeles; and WMVP-AM, Chicago. The deal will also have Good Karma Brands perform ESPN’s obligations under the current Local Marketing Agreement for WEPN-FM, New York “98.7 ESPN.” As part of a long-term affiliation agreement, all three stations will remain as ESPN Radio affiliates and continue broadcasting ESPN Network Radio content as well as locally produced programming. There is no price revealed in the press release from GKB. The company has been operating WMVP-AM “ESPN 1000” under an LMA since October 2019. Good Karma founder and CEO Craig Karmazin says, “We are thrilled to add ESPN New York and ESPN Los Angeles to GKB. These stations and teammates give us an expanded footprint and increased resources to help meet our mission of serving our teammates, fans and advertising partners at a best-in-class level.” ESPN Audio vice president Scott McCarthy comments, “At ESPN, we are focused on evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our business, providing the outstanding content that our fans expect, and growing our audience in critical, leading markets. We have a strong, 20-plus year relationship with Good Karma Brands and know they will further contribute to the success of these great local audio operations.” In addition, the companies have agreed to extend their ESPN Digital sales agreement, which began in 2015, in which GKB represents display and video inventory on ESPN.com and the ESPN App to local and regional advertisers in 14 select markets.

Porth Joins WSCR, Chicago as Assistant Brand Manager. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Ryan Porth is leaving his program director position at Cromwell Media’s sports talk WPRT, Nashville “102.5 The Game” to joins Audacy’s sports talk WSCR-AM, Chicago “The Score” as assistant brand manager, effective January 3. WSCR operations director and brand manager Mitch Rosen is quoted saying, “He will assist us in multiple facets — from organization, digital ideation and assisting all of us moving ‘The Score’ brand forward into the future.” Porth has served as PD of WPRT since 2016 and also served as executive producer for the Nashville Predators Radio Network.

Bonilla Rises to PD at KXNT, Las Vegas. TALKERS magazine hears that Audacy has promoted Mark Bonilla from his assistant program director position at news/talk KXNT-AM, Las Vegas to program director for the station. He assumes the role previously held by Paul Ihander.

Audacy and Voicify Partner for Voice Capabilities Across Digital Platform. A new multiyear partnership is struck between Audacy and Voicify, a company described in a press release as “the market leader in conversation experience management software that combines voice optimized content management, cross-platform deployment, and voice-specific customer insights.” As part of this deal, Audacy will leverage Voicify’s services to drive interactive voice capabilities across the Audacy platform and make station-branded skills more easily accessible for listeners via any voice assistant-enabled device. Audacy will also license Voicify’s patented platform – The Voicify Conversation Experience Platform – to create and deliver innovative, interactive voice ads and voice commerce experiences through digital audio content for advertisers. The Voicify Conversation Experience Platform enables marketers to connect with their customers by creating highly engaging and personalized voice experiences that are automatically deployed to a broad array of voice platforms, including smart speakers. Audacy chief digital officer J.D. Crowley comments, “As we continue to expand and enhance the Audacy direct-to-consumer platform, adding new interactive voice capabilities and enabling voice commerce experiences across a wide range of devices is an important area of future growth, especially in an age where flexibility and speed to market are a must have for our advertising partners. We are excited to partner with Voicify to provide next generation interactive advertising solutions to our clients to help make their advertising more actionable.”

Former WLS-AM, Chicago Talk Host Stephanie Trussell to Run for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. Former weekend talk host Stephanie Trussell is joining Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey on the Republican ticket for lieutenant governor and governor, respectively. Trussell had hosted the Saturday afternoon program on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago after winning the station’s “Next Talk Star” contest in 2012. She left the weekend gig in 2019 but continued to host a podcast for the station for a period.

Newsmax Names Duchardt Congressional Correspondent. Journalist Kilmeny Duchardt is joining Newsmax as congressional correspondent. A press release says that Kilmeny brings more than 15 years of media experience with the Associated Press, Reuters and most recently as an anchor with Turkish TV’s TRT World. Duchardt has spent the last three years anchoring “Turkish TV’s TRT World” U.S. primetime news bulletins out of Washington, covering the U.S. election, Congress, the White House and other major global news events. Newsmax news director Chris Wallace states, “Kilmeny is a well-regarded journalist known for getting the story right. She will be a great addition to our growing team.” Duchardt comments, “Trust isn’t given, it’s earned. I take great pride in earning the trust of my viewers. I look forward to gaining the respect of our diverse audience at Newsmax and being a source they can count on.”

TALKERS News Notes. Digital and tech services provider Triton Digital announces it is expanding its Podcast Reports to Canada. Triton says the Canadian Podcast Report will provide insight into the Top Podcasts and Networks in Canada each month, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service. The inaugural Canadian Podcast report will be issued in late Q1 2022. Triton president of market development John Rosso states, “As podcast listening in Canada continues to rise, advertisers need reliable measurement to better understand the performance of on-demand and podcast content. Expanding our Podcast Reports to the Canadian market, where we already have a strong presence, highlights our commitment to eliminate inconsistent measurement practices and self-reported data, providing content marketers, media buyers, and the audio industry at large with access to validated and transparent podcast metrics in the Canadian market for the first time.”.….New Hampshire Public Radio promotes staffer Rebecca Lavoie to director of on-demand audio. Lavoie joined NHPR in 2010 to produce the daily magazine program “Word of Mouth” and most recently served as director of audience & engagement. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “Rebecca has nurtured an explosion of excellent journalism and inspired creativity throughout NHPR. Her keen editorial ear is evident in all the material produced under her leadership. Her deep roots in the community and knowledge of the podcast industry make her an essential contributor to our senior management team.”…..Audacy announces that its Richmond stations – including news/talk WRVA – raised more than $670,000 to benefit Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU during the annual “36-Hours for Kids Radiothon.”…..The syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show hosted by Chris Hill is added to the weekend lineup on Bennett Radio Group’s news/talk duo “The Patriot” in WEZR-AM, Rumford and WPNO-AM, South Paris, Maine…..Pictured below is “Florida Man Radio” (WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach) personality Shannon Burke (left) with Key Networks syndicated radio star Bill O’Reilly (right) backstage at the Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday (12/12). Burke attended the “History Tour” event with O’Reilly and former President Donald Trump – a series of live conversations between Trump and O’Reilly about the four-year Trump administration.

FOX News Radio’s Jimmy Failla to Be Part of FNC’s New Year’s Eve Programming. This New Year’s Eve, FOX News Channel is presenting special programming from 10:00 pm to 1:30 am ET featuring “FOX & Friends Weekend” co-hosts Pete Hegseth, Rachel Campos-Duffy and Will Cain live from the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Joining the trio in the holiday programming will be Jimmy Failla, host of FOX News Radio’s “FOX Across America” midday show, who will perform stand-up comedy from the Wildhorse Saloon. Also involved in the programming will be FOX Nation’s Lawrence Jones, “Outnumbered” co-host Emily Compagno and FOX News correspondent Griff Jenkins from Times Square, FOX News contributor Raymond Arroyo and FOX Nation host Abby Hornacek in New Orleans, and FOX News Congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie from Folly Beach in Charleston, South Carolina and FOX Business correspondent Madison Alworth from Tampa Bay, Florida.

COVID-19, Economy/Supply Chain/Inflation, Software Vulnerability, Build Back Better, January 6 Investigation, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, and Tornadoes Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13). The rate of COVID-19 cases around the world, the Omicron variant, Pfizer’s pill, and mandates; the state of the U.S. economy, the ongoing supply chain woes, and high consumer prices; criticism of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack, Mark Meadows’ refusal to cooperate with the House committee, and new email revelations; the G7 nations’ warning to Russia about military action in Ukraine; and the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes in Kentucky and Illinois were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.