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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

| July 12, 2022

KBLA, Los Angeles Celebrates One-Year Anniversary; Scores High on Survey of Black Angelenos. The Los Angeles talk station that Tavis Smiley launched a little over a year ago calls itself “Unapologetically Progressive” and a recent study indicates that KBLA-AM “Talk 1580” is the “most trusted, credible and reliable source of information” for African Americans in Los Angeles. The study of 400 Blacks in the Los Angeles market was conducted by EVITARUS from June 4 to June 12 and concludes that KBLA “fills a void in providing relevant programming and content to the Black community” and emerged as “the station of choice” for the African American listener. Smiley says, “I am humbled by the response we have received from our target audience in this first year of operation. One never knows how the audience is going to receive a new concept, but I believed then as I do now that Black folk and progressives deserve better from talk radio. The amazing findings of this independent survey confirm our efforts and empower us to stay on the wall and keep building.”

Matt Pauley Joins KMOX, St. Louis for Sports Programs. Sports radio pro Matt Pauley joins Audacy’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis as host of the station’s 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Sports Open Line” program as well as host of the St. Louis Cardinals Radio Network’s pregame and postgame coverage. Pauley joins Audacy from his most recent work with Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk WKTI-FM “ESPN Milwaukee” covering the Brewers. Pauley succeeds Kevin Wheeler, who recently transitioned to host KMOX’s midday show alongside Amy Marxkors and Chris Rongey. Pauley says, “To say I am excited to join KMOX and the Cardinals Radio Network is beyond an understatement. To be able to come home to work for one of the most legendary stations in the country is a dream come true. There is no show in the country that can match ‘Sports Open Line’ when you look at the various people who have hosted it through the years and I am humbled to now be in that chair. I also can’t wait to talk to Cardinals fans across the country on a nightly basis. Their passion is unrivaled, and we will experience the highs and lows of the season every night together.”

WHP, Harrisburg to Debut Regionally Focused Travel Show. A new travel program titled, “Let’s Visit PA with Sandy Fenton,” is debuting on iHeartMedia news/talk WHP, Harrisburg. In collaboration with PA Tourism, the new syndicated travel show will broadcast Saturdays from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon and is heard on seven affiliate stations in addition to WHP. Fenton is a travel writer and broadcast veteran with over 40-years in the radio industry. She created and hosted a one-hour, weekly travel show called “Let’s Talk Travel with AAA” that aired from September 1993 to May 2022. Pennsylvania executive director of tourism Michael Chapaloney says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with iHeart and Sandy Fenton on this adventure which will spread the good word, the must-dos of travel to the masses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Sandy is one of the state’s biggest megaphones for tourism in PA and we are excited with this syndication our reach is greater than ever before.”

‘Liberty Station’ Podcast Joins Salem Podcast Network. A new podcast joins the growing lineup at Salem Media Group’s Salem Podcast Network. “Liberty Station” – which launched in 2021 – is hosted by Rob McCoy (left) and Bryce Eddy (right) and includes commentary, analysis, and guest interviews on topics such as the Biblical foundations of American history, equipping pastors to become leaders in the culture, and understanding current events from a Christian worldview. Four episodes of the podcast will be released each week. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Rob and Bryce are culture warriors who are courageous and unafraid. They take on this battle with a biblical worldview. Think David versus Goliath, and we all know how that worked out for the giant. I am very excited to add their podcast to our platform.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow evening (7/13), Newsmax is presenting a live Arizona Republican Primary Debate at 7:00 pm at the Madison Center for the Arts, in Phoenix. John Bachman is serving as moderator for the debate between Jim Lamon, Blake Masters, and Mick McGuire. Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy says, “People across Arizona are hungry to learn about the Republican candidates as they make their choice in this critical primary. Newsmax is glad to be actively involved across the nation in a series of Debate and Town Hall events to further voter awareness.”…..Emmis Communications Corporation announces a tender offer to repurchase up to one million shares of its Class A common stock, at prices of not greater than $3.75 nor less than $2.75 per share. The tender offer is scheduled to expire, unless extended by the company, at 5:00 pm ET on August 5. The company says, “Emmis management and its board of directors have evaluated our operations, strategy and expectations for the future and believe that the tender is a prudent use of Emmis’ financial resources given its business profile and assets. With the cessation of public quotations on Emmis’ Class A common stock through the OTC Market due to the implementation of SEC rule 15c2-11, Emmis also believes that a tender offer may provide liquidity for those shareholders looking for liquidity. The company will fund the purchase of tendered shares primarily from cash on hand and borrowings under an existing $1.6 million line of credit…..The Independent Broadcasters Association is partnering with BSMG Broadcasters & Sportscasters Mentoring Group that uses a mentor-apprentice model for learning and pays stations to participate. BSMG students train in local radio stations where they live. A team member from those stations serves as the mentor-instructor, and the stations are paid for their expertise. Stations may use the payments as they see fit. BSMG handles all the administrative tasks, provides the educational materials, as well as program oversight.

Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, The Economy, January 6 Hearings, Musk vs Twitter, Russia-Ukraine War, COVID-19, and Webb Telescope Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/11). The November midterm elections and whether Democrats want Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024; the high price of gas & food, the fall of tech stocks, and concerns about a recession; the ongoing January 6 hearings and expected testimony from former White House strategist Steve Bannon; Elon Musk’s attempt to end his Twitter acquisition; the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s arms deal with Iran; the spread of the coronavirus BA.5 subvariant and the arrival of new subvariant BA.2.75; and the first image from the Webb telescope is revealed were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

| May 17, 2022

Radio One Names Jeff Rickard Program Director for Sports Talk WFNZ, Charlotte. Sports talk radio pro Jeff Rickard is named program director for Radio One’s WFNZ-AM/FM. Rickard most recently served as brand manager for Audacy’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Prior to that, he was PD and morning host at Emmis’ WFNI, Indianapolis. During his career he’s also served with Comcast, ESPN Radio, and Sirius XM. Radio One RVP Marsha Landess comments, “We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment. Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.” Rickard adds, “I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work. Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

 

Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 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 April 2022 sweep covered March 31 – April 27. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In New York, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC-AM/WLIR-FM dips two-tenths, posting a 3.6 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) but remains ranked #8. Audacy’s crosstown all-news WINS is up one-tenth, finishing the survey with a 4.2 share and rises to #6. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles climbs four-tenths to wrap the survey with a 5.1 share and climbs to the #3 rank, while Audacy’s all-news KNX-FM loses half a share for a 3.4 share finish and falls to the #8 rank.  In Atlanta, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM sheds a half share but remains ranked #3 on the strength of a 6.4 share. Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is ranked #1 in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union market despite losing seven-tenths and finishing with a 6.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets here.

 

FMR Associates-Eastlan: Radio Listening Rises 31% in Last Six Months. According to a study conducted in March and April for FMR Associates and Eastlan Ratings clients to determine usage levels of local AM/FM radio compared to the period six months prior, a number of positive conclusions were reached. The study reveals that in the last six months, weekly AM/FM radio listening is on the increase: 31% indicate they are listening to radio more, compared to 18% listening less. This finding is regardless of sex, age or market rank. FMR Associates-Eastlan says, “This unique finding bodes well for traditional radio growing as the pandemic comes to an end and even as more audio options such as podcasts and streaming platforms are available.” Digging deeper, the study found that the increase in weekly AM/FM listening is greatest among adults 25-44 at 37%. Men and women are equally increasing their listening time with AM/FM radio. More people going back to work, commuting and some cutting back on subscription audio or video services are among the primary factors cited for increased AM/FM consumption. Also, current weekly AM/FM radio listening is at 86% in the 25 to 64 age group. Significantly, cume listening is strong and consistent regardless of age, sex, market rank or geographic region. The statistically projectable national survey of 25 to 64 year-old adults from the thousands surveyed each month by Eastlan was demographically balanced and geographically representative.

 

Audacy’s State of Audio Explores Key Audio Trends. The second edition of Audacy’s “State of Audio” e-book that details key insights relevant to the listeners, creators and advertisers revolutionizing audio has been released. Some of the key metrics from the guide include: 1) Audio revenue outpaced video in 2021. Per the latest IAB Advertising Revenue Report, audio streaming revenue is up +59% YOY. And audio streaming growth is outpacing investments in video, social and search; 2) Audio usage has eclipsed TV, including CTV Audio reaches everyone, with 99% of US adults reporting using audio monthly. And that’s more than the total use of TV, including connected devices. (Source: Nielsen, Q4 2021); and 3) Time spent listening on AM/FM streaming and podcast content has increased +64% from 2015 to Q1 2022. (Source: Edison Research, Share of Ear Study, Q4 2015-Q1 2022). Audacy chief marketing officer Paul Suchman comments, “Audio is a trusted companion to hundreds of millions of listeners and more than any other medium, the best way creators across the globe connect with their audiences authentically and intimately at scale. Our second edition of the ‘State of Audio, The Disruptors: The Listeners, Advertisers, and Creators Revolutionizing Audio’ focuses on the people, strategies, and content shaping Audio’s meteoric rise as a must have media for marketers.” See more here.

 

KBLA, Los Angeles Debuts ‘A More Perfect Union.’ A new weekend program is launching this Sunday (5/22) on Smiley Audio Media’s KBLA, Los Angeles. “A More Perfect Union,” hosted by journalist, educator, and KBLA “Talk 1580” chief national political analyst Dr. Nii-Quartelai Quartey. Airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, the program is a “national public affairs program, featuring notable journalists, industry leaders, lawmakers, changemakers, tastemakers, and ordinary people motivated to do their part to reach beyond today’s divisions; make sense out of news of the day and offer listeners a chance to build a more perfect union.” Smiley Audio Media owner Tavis Smiley says, “Now more than ever the Black constituency must first be made aware, and then armed with information that can help advance the issues we care about and repel the ideas that are antithetical to the best interests of our community. The time is now for ‘A More Perfect Union,’ which is a weekly show designed to keep our community in the know with a moderator like Dr. Quartey, who keeps his ear to the ground and his heart attuned to the causes we care about.”

 

‘100 Years of WGN Radio’ to Air on WGN-TV. On Thursday (5/19) at 7:00 pm, the special program, “100 Years of WGN Radio: A Retrospective,” will air on WGN-TV, Chicago. The 45-minute documentary produced by WGN Radio tells the story of the station, starting with its beginnings in 1922 when it was founded by Chicagoans Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins as WDAP, to highlighting moments throughout its century of history up to present day. Viewers will see the faces of familiar voices, including Bob Sirott, John Williams, Lou Manfredini, Steve King and Johnnie Putman, Dave Eanet, Mary Van De Velde, Dave Plier, and others, reflecting on their experiences at the station and sharing memorable moments. The program will be re-broadcast on Sunday, May 22 at 2:00 pm CT on WGN-TV.

 

Tim Hartlage Returns to Salem to Lead Sales in Nashville. Radio management pro Tim Hartlage is returning to Salem Media Group to serve as general sales manager for the company’s Nashville operations. Hartlage served as GSM and then general manager for the company’s Louisville station group from 2005 to 2015. He says, “Leaving Salem in 2015 to plant a much-needed church and ministry in Louisville’s southwest area, my old neighborhood, with my wife Jennifer, was one of the toughest decisions we had ever made. Returning to Salem and joining the Nashville team as general sales manager was one of the easiest. Salem Nashville is in an incredibly vibrant market with a great reputation. It’s great to be a part of the Salem Family again. It feels like a homecoming.”

 

Buffalo Shooting/Great Replacement Theory, the Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, COVID-19, and UFO Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16). The aftermath of the deadly Buffalo shooting and talk of the Great Replacement Theory; the financial markets, inflation, and concerns about a major recession on the horizon; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s threats against Finland and Sweden; the primary races for November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.; and today’s scheduled congressional hearing on UFOs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

| April 19, 2022

Bingham Promoted at Salem Media Group. Rising from his vice president of mobile and digital acquisitions position to vice president of operations and business development at Salem Web Network is David Bingham. In this new role with Salem Media Group, Bingham will oversee operations of Salem Web Network and continue to drive business development. Bingham has been with Salem for ten years, initially as director of mobile before being promoted to vice president of mobile and digital acquisitions in 2017. Salem Web Network EVP Rick Killingsworth says, “Since joining us in 2012, David Bingham has been exceptional at spearheading numerous mobile app acquisitions and brand growth initiatives that have expanded Salem’s presence in the mobile computing space. David has proven himself to be a passionate leader and negotiations professional who has a legacy of coaching high performing teams and generating results for the business and our clients.” Bingham comments, “It is a time like no other in our company to work on exciting new initiatives. There are so many opportunities in video, subscription services, podcasting, as well as the continued tradition of outstanding content, to support our users in their daily walk. I am so fortunate to get to work with a high-level group of dedicated individuals. The future is very bright for Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.”

 

Tavis Smiley and KBLA, Los Angeles to Mark Anniversary of Rodney King Verdict with Live Remote Broadcast. Station owner and air personality Tavis Smiley – with co-host Dominique DiPrima – will host a live remote broadcast on April 29 to remember the 30th anniversary of the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the beating of motorist Rodney King. The KBLA, Los Angeles broadcast will take place at the intersection of Florence and Normandie which is considered “ground zero” of the civil unrest that followed. Smiley says, “Historic anniversaries, to my mind, are only worth pausing to commemorate if our reflections are instructive, informative and empowering for how to make America a nation as good as its promise.” KBLA says that Smiley and DiPrima will be joined by family members of King, community organizers, faith leaders, elected officials and everyday people to discuss, dissect and deliberate on the factors that led to a boiling point of civil disturbance, and if the city has healed from it. DiPrima adds, “We want to take this opportunity to amplify the voices of the African American community in this moment of solemn reflection and continue the quest for accountability.”

 

TALKERS News Notes. This Thursday at 7:00 pm ET, Townsquare Media’s “New Jersey 101.5” (WKXW-FM) is presenting the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts to help New Jersey residents navigate life in the Garden State. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott will lead a panel of economists, business leaders, policy experts, and business owners to explore how the workplace has changed since the start of the pandemic, and how it will function moving forward. Scott says, “Both the physical workplace and the dynamic between employer and employee has changed. There are lessons to be learned from both sides.” The program’s on-air panel will feature Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association; Peter Chen, senior policy analyst with New Jersey Policy Perspective; and Maria Heidkamp, director of program development and a senior researcher at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University…..“The Lisa Wexler Show,” heard daily from 10:00 am to 12:000 noon on Connoisseur Media’s WICC-AM/W297CP, Bridgeport, Connecticut, wins five awards from the Connecticut Press Club’s 2021 Communications Contest. The program won First Place for Best Newscast: Radio; Second Place for Talk Show; and three Third Place awards for On the Scene Reporting, Radio & Television Interview, and Electronic Newsletter. Lisa Wexler comments, “I am thrilled that our show was honored by my colleagues at the Connecticut Press Club on a variety of topics. When Congressman Jim Himes came on our show the morning after he experienced what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, I felt that history was being made in real time. When callers related their stories of near-drowning incidents, we shared the importance of water safety. I thank the judges at the Connecticut Press Club for recognizing the importance of storytelling in the talk radio format.”…..Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio, Inc., announce that the 14th annual Rising Through the Ranks will be held in 2022 as a hybrid event. The program will begin with two virtual sessions taking place on July 26 and August 2, prior to participants meeting in person August 9-11 in Nashville. As in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program. The scholarships will cover the cost of the professional development course, which is geared to foster and educate current and emerging female radio managers in broadcast radio. BMI VP, industry relations Dan Spears says, “BMI continues to be proud supporters of Rising Through the Ranks and the work our partners at the RAB and MIW do to support rising female executives in the radio industry. The scholarships provided by BMI give these talented women invaluable training from some of the top executives in the business. We’re so thrilled to have everyone back together again in Nashville this year and look forward to a successful event.” Find out more about Rising Through the Ranks here.

 

Washington, DC News Personality Wendy Rieger Dies at 65. Longtime WRC-TV, Washington “News4” anchor and reporter Wendy Rieger died on Saturday (4/16) after a long battle with brain cancer. Rieger, who had recently retired from News4 after 20 years as anchor of the 5:00 pm news, also worked in radio earlier in her career, serving at both public radio WAMU-FM and all-news WTOP in Washington. See News4’s video montage of Rieger’s career here.

 

Russia-Ukraine War, Mask Ruling/COVID-19, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Extreme Weather/Climate Change, School Curriculum Battles, Elon Musk vs Twitter, and Weekend Shootings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18). Russia’s intensifying attacks on Ukraine, NATO’s response, and the global economic effects of the war; a U.S. judge rules the airline mask mandate is illegal, keeping an eye on the BA.2 variant, and lockdowns in Shanghai and Hong Kong; the battle for control of Congress in November’s midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence over the GOP; recent extreme weather events in U.S. and the debate over anthropogenic climate change; policies in several states designed to prevent discussion about non-traditional gender & family situations and critical race theory; Elon Musk’s continuing attempt to take Twitter private; and the weekend’s spate of shootings were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, October 1, 2021

| October 1, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Spread Dem Wings,” looks back at this past week of 9/27 – 10/1. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Bill Brady, talk show host/station owner, KFNX, Phoenix; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media; and Curtis Sliwa, talk show host (on leave) WABC, New York/GOP NYC mayoral nominee. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; KTLK-FM, St. Louis; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Quick: Just What is Radio? Consultant Jon Quick answers that question in this piece published today in TALKERS magazine. He says, “I remember in Sunday school the minister asked us: ‘What is a church?’ All of us agreed that a church is a building with a bell and a steeple. Pastor Thorson said, ‘No, that is just a shell. A church is really a congregation of people, the spirit and all of the goodness we are taught to believe in.’ I find this analogous to radio.” Read his story here.

14th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Wraps Up in Washington. The 14th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row event, produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform, took place on Wednesday and Thursday (9/29-30) based at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The actual radio row was produced under a tent on the rooftop of the adjacent office building to provide outdoor COVID-19 protection. More than 75 talk hosts attended the event and discussed issues surrounding American immigration policy with legislators and experts. Pictured here at the event is talk media personality Heidi Harris (left) with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (right).

Todd Schnitt Celebrates 20 Years of ‘The Schnitt Show.’ Twenty years ago today (10/1), “The Schnitt Show” entered syndication from radio pro Todd Schnitt’s home market of Tampa. Compass Media Networks says that as the syndicated show celebrates its 20th anniversary, Schnitt is back at home in Tampa on Beasley Media Group’s WHFS-AM “Money Talk 1010 AM” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and is currently heard in more than 50 markets nationwide. Schnitt is also heard in Tampa as alter ego morning jock personality MJ, host of “MJ in the Morning” on Beasley’s classic hits WRBQ-FM. Schnitt comments, “It’s been a very eventful 20-year ride and never a dull moment. I am proud of my team and feel we’re doing our most compelling programs ever. I am grateful for my special relationship with the Compass team.” Compass Media Networks CEO/founder Peter Kosann adds, “Climbing the mountain is hard. Staying on top is truly an awesome accomplishment. Kudos to Todd and his team. We look forward to a great future together. Congratulations Todd.”

Alex Jones Found Liable in Sandy Hook Suits in Default Judgement. As reported by the Huffington Post, talk media personality and InfoWars founder Alex Jones has been found liable in a rare default judgement after two parents of children who died in the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 – Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa – sued Jones and InfoWars for defamation. In the piece, Sebastian Murdock writes, “In the years since, the parents have dealt with continued harassment from those who followed Jones’ lead and claimed the shooting was faked. They’re not the only ones. In total, nine families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting have leveled lawsuits against Jones and Infowars for the damage he and his outlet caused. Since then, Jones has lost multiple legal battles in his many lawsuits and was ordered to pay nearly $150,000 in legal fees in 2020 for failing to provide discovery documents for the plaintiffs.” The default judgement rulings came after Jones repeatedly refused to hand over documents during the discovery phase of the trial. In the next phase of the case, a jury will decide how much Jones will have to pay the plaintiffs.

Lisa DiMartini Named VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Allentown. Radio sales pro Lisa DiMartini is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Allentown, Pennsylvania station group that includes news/talk WAEB-AM “Newsradio 790” and WSAN-AM “iHeartPodcast AM 1470,” plus three music brands. iHeartMedia area president Brit Goldstein states, “I could not be more thrilled to have Lisa as a partner in maximizing the untapped potential we see in Allentown and the surrounding areas. Lisa is incredibly focused and driven and will thrive in this role.” DiMartini most recently served the iHeartMedia Allentown cluster as a senior account executive. She says, “I am excited for this new opportunity to lead the Allentown team and focus on growing revenue, increasing market share, and increasing team collaboration. Thank you, iHeartMedia, for this amazing opportunity.”

Bonneville Assumes Operation of KZNS-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; Several Staffers Let Go. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Bonneville International, in a deal with Smith Entertainment Group, is taking over operations of sports talk outlet KZNS-AM/FM “The Zone.” The Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith bought the Utah Jazz from Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment in 2020 and although KZNS-AM/FM was owned by Miller as well, the station was sold to Smith in a separate deal. It remains the radio flagship for the NBA club’s games. Bonneville has made some changes to the station and that includes the ouster of station personality and Salt Lake Tribune sports columnist Gordon Monson as well as other radio producers. In a statement, Bonneville president Darrell Brown said, “Bonneville is proud to partner with the Utah Jazz, and we are grateful for the trust the Jazz have placed in us with their radio assets. Our two companies are uniquely aligned, sharing deep roots in Utah and a focus on serving local audiences with a commitment to high quality content and operations.”

PodcastOne Announces Winner of ‘Self Made Podcast Edition’ Contest. The winner of this year’s first-ever “Self Made Podcast Edition” audio competition from PodcastOne is “Knock Knock,” created and hosted by Jason B. Jones. The competition was hosted on PodcastOne’s independent podcasting platform LaunchpadOne. In addition to being crowned the inaugural winner, Jones is awarded a PodcastOne podcasting contract and a total prize package worth over $100,000 including promotion across PodcastOne’s network. “Knock Knock” featuries real stories of families and communities that have lived through the horror of an unsolved murder. Season 1 tells the story of host Jones’ own step-grandmother, Betty Jones, who was murdered alongside her friend Kathryn Crigler on Labor Day in 1990 after answering a knock on the door at Crigler’s Starkville, Mississippi home. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “We had an overwhelming response to the competition and the content for the submissions ranged from true crime and sports to pop culture and gossip. The quality and excitement around the ‘Self Made Podcast Edition’ competition exemplifies that independent podcasting is thriving. We are thrilled to be able to offer up an opportunity to become part of the PodcastOne network and plan to continue enabling up and coming podcasters to succeed through our LaunchpadOne platform. A very special thank you to our judges who took the time to listen to each podcast and tell us what they think. We can’t wait for ‘Self Made Podcast 2nd Edition.’”

Tavis Smiley’s KBLA-AM, Los Angeles Announces New Weekend Programming. Los Angeles talk radio outlet KBLA-AM – launched this summer by media personality and entrepreneur Tavis Smiley – adds some new shows to its weekend program schedule. “Café Mocha,” hosted by Los Angeles hip hop icon YoYo, comedienne and talk show host Loni Love, and voice actress Angelique Perrin airs Saturdays from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. “Areva Martin Out Loud,” hosted by civil rights attorney Areva Martin airs from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and follows “This Is Not a Drill,” hosted by BLM/LA co-founder Dr. Melina Abdullah.

COVID-19 Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 27 – October 1. COVID-19 infection rates, vaccines, booster shots, masks, mandates & politics combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Joe Biden budget and infrastructure bill debate, followed by the debt ceiling-government shutdown battle in congress tied with the larger issue 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.

 

 

Pensacola News/Talk Outlet NewsRadio 92.3/ AM1620 WNRP Seeks Program Director. Pensacola, Florida news/talk outlet WNRP “NewsRadio 92.3/AM1620” has an immediate opening for a program director. ADX Communications says, “Enjoy life working in a beach paradise on the pristine Gulf Coast of Florida’s NW panhandle. Lead our award-winning, full-service news/talker “NewsRadio 92.3/ AM1620” WNRP in Pensacola, Florida to the next level. We have an immediate opening for a forward-thinking program director. We’ve won seven Murrow Awards, nine Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists awards, and this year we’re nominated for a Marconi. We’re ready to take our experienced talk and news pros to the next level and grow our presence on-air, promotionally and on our social media platforms. News-based talk hosting/producing, creative production and technical trouble shooting are plusses. Must be organized, detail-oriented and with good staff communication skills. Our locally owned, independent owners are committed to live, local news and talk programming, and community-oriented promotions. The ADX Communications group also includes CatCountry98.7, 1330 ESPN Pensacola and Playlist 94.5. 401k/health/dental/vision plans available. Send audio or audio link with resume to aschiller@newsradio1620.com. EOE.

Monday, August 9, 2021

| August 9, 2021

Pending Business: Rules. Sales pro Steve Lapa says the great “disruptors” of our time have one thing in common: they break the rules but in doing so deliver a clear benefit. Lapa says he encounters rules in the radio sales business that appear to be there to benefit only the seller – not the advertiser. “Makes you wonder if those rules are impacting the two R’s that help guide sales management: Revenue and Recruitment. Where are the sales disruptors in those organizations? Maybe those organizations stopped listening to the customer and just went with convenient old-school thinking.” Read his column here.

Monday Memo: Play the Hits. “If the last year-and-a-half has taught us anything,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons, “it’s that anything could happen, at any time, and disrupt the life routine of which we want our work to be the soundtrack.” So, barring the unforeseen, this week’s column recommends “four topics of extreme relevance.” Read it here.

COVID-19 Cases, Vaccinations & Mask Mandates/Obama Birthday Bash, Climate Change/Western Wildfires, Andrew Cuomo Harassment Allegations, Infrastructure Bill, 2020 Election Denial, and Taliban Surges in Afghanistan Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The fast-rising rate of COVID-19 cases in numerous places in the U.S., the issue of vaccine hesitancy, controversy over mask mandates for school kids, and former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday bash on Martha’s Vineyard; the UN’s IPCC issues a report indicating the planet is heating up at a rate that’s pushing us closer to a “point of no return” and the wildfires in the Western U.S. and in Greece; the sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo keep getting more intense as his top aide Melissa DeRosa resigns; the U.S. Senate shuts down debate and preps for a vote on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill; the continuing denial of the results of the 2020 presidential election by Donald Trump loyalists; and the Taliban seizes control of a number of cities in Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. military’s exit were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Conservative Florida Media Personality Dick Farrel Dies of COVID at 65. According to a number of media reports, conservative media personality Dick Farrel – a native New Yorker who worked on air at WVIP-FM, Westchester, New York; WIOD-AM, Miami; WPBR, Palm Beach; WFLN-AM, Arcadia, Florida (now WCXS-AM); and as a fill-in host on Newsmax TV – has died at the age of 65 after contracting COVID-19. Farrel’s partner Kit Farley wrote on Farrel’s now-private Facebook page, “He was known as the other Rush Limbaugh. With a heavy heart, I can only say this was so unexpected. He will be missed.” Farrel was an unabashed critic of the vaccines. He called them “bogus,” referred to the pandemic as “scamdemic,” and spoke of Dr. Tony Fauci as a “lying freak.” His attitude changed after contracting the virus and he urged friends to get the vaccine.

Harrison Weighs in on Cumulus Studies Showing Radio Listeners More Likely to Be Interested in Sports Betting Saying They’re ‘More Serious Fans of the Sports.’ A piece written by Jeff Edelstein at Sports Handle addresses the recent studies commissioned by Cumulus Media that suggest radio listeners are more interested in sports betting than TV viewers. Released in synch with the news of Cumulus’ partnership with WynnBET, the studies find that “42% of radio listeners have placed an online sports bet, compared to 28% of TV viewers. Furthermore, 52% of radio listeners say they’re interested in online sports betting, compared to 28% of television watchers.” TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is quoted extensively in the piece and says, “There’s probably a great overlap between the two, but the person that goes out of their way to listen to a game on the radio… well, you don’t see what’s going on. They are obviously, by nature, more interested in the information about the game than necessarily the pleasure of just watching it. And if you are more interested in information, you’re probably more prone to bet. A person who listens to sports is probably more prone to bet than a person who watches sports because they’re more interested in the data and the details than the eye candy of watching the game.” As the story notes, that fact that more than half of the people surveyed in states where betting is legal could not name a betting operator such as DraftKings or BetMGM means those operators need to promote themselves. Harrison adds, “I just think radio can do everything it possibly can to get in on the business of sports betting, using its influence over people as a communications medium as its leverage and its wedge to get into that business. Everybody who knows anything about human nature, the law, and business knows that this is going to continue to be a growth area. From a business standpoint, the legalization of sports betting is perfect for radio to be involved with, and radio is at a time now where it is seeking new streams of revenue to go beyond the standard advertising paradigm.”

Sports Talker Jeff Cameron Moves Down the Dial in Tallahassee. The Tallahassee Democrat reports that “The Jeff Cameron Show” begins airing on Magic Broadcasting II’s news/talk WVFT-FM, Tallahassee “Real Talk 93.3” today (8/9) in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daypart after having been heard on crosstown WTSM-FM “ESPN Tallahassee” since 2012. Horizon Broadcasting recently agreed to sell WTSM to religious broadcaster Radio Training Network Inc, prompting the move.  Cameron tells the paper his program will also be heard at the Florida State University fan site Warchant.com. Continuing with the program will be producer/broadcaster Tom Lang and Matthew Hutchinson is resuming his co-production work with the show. Cameron says, “I’ve always wanted to do multi-media stuff where I can do a podcast, host the show, and do something on YouTube. Warchant and 93.3 agreed to take me on. We can take all of our advertisers to Warchant and 93.3.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City media legend Garry Meier is hosting a weekly, Sunday night show on Cumulus Media’s KABC-AM, Los Angeles. His program airs at 10:00 pm and KABC program director Drew Hayes tells Feder, “Nobody tells a story — or views the world — like Garry. It’s great to be together again, now for a third time, on L.A.’s first talk station, KABC.”…..Today (8/9) at 9:00 am PT, KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” host and owner Tavis Smiley is scheduled to interview gubernatorial recall candidate (and Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host) Larry Elder, who is currently leading the polls to recall and replace California Governor Gavin Newsom…..Media personality Stephanie Miller announces she’s bringing her “Sexy Liberal Survivors’ Tour” back to the stage at the Barrymore Theater in Madison on October 23. Miller, along with John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, and Frangela, will perform at the event. She’s also making the performance available to those who can’t make it in person via pay-per-view through Meathook.