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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

| May 11, 2022

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Rises 5.5%. Reporting financial data for the first quarter of 2022, Salem Media Group says total revenue was $62.6 million, an increase of 5.5% over the same period in 2021. Operating income was $5 million, up 14.2% from the same period a year ago. Salem posted net income of $1.7 million in Q1 of this year compared to the net income of $0.3 million reported for the same quarter in 2021. Breaking down the company’s data by segment, net broadcast revenue increased 10% to $48.4 million from $44 million in 2021, while digital media revenue increased 7.1% to $10.3 million from $9.6 million, and publishing revenue decreased 31.8% to $3.9 million from $5.7 million. Looking ahead, Salem Media Group says that for the second quarter of 2022, it is projecting total revenue to increase between 6% and 8% from second quarter 2021 total revenue of $63.8 million.

 

The Vastness of Night. “The two most effective, engaging forms of advertising are in-theatre and overnight radio,” says Walter Sterling. “Surrounded by darkness without distractions, the audience choses to receive the advertising message in the comfort of a bed, perfectly adjusted car seat, or reclining throne. Overnight radio is 25% of the broadcast day. Twenty-five percent. A locally hosted all-night show in a major city is a gift to listeners and advertisers.” You say you can’t afford an all-night talk radio host? Read more of what Walter Sterling has to say here.

 

Tom Millikan Upped to Assistant Brand Manager for WXYT-FM, Detroit. Executive producer Tom Millikan is promoted to assistant brand manager at Audacy’s sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit “97.1 The Ticket.” He will continue in his executive producer role for “The Morning Show with Stoney and Jansen.” Audacy Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Tom has done an outstanding job as an executive producer and has played a vital role in the success of the station. He is very deserving of this promotion and we look forward to even greater success with Tom in his new role.” Millikan comments, “Throughout my 20-plus years in radio, I’ve been blessed with countless memories of championships and pure joy. I’m living out a dream. I wanted to work in sports radio since the format exploded in the early 90s and I’ve been blessed by the tutelage of all of my co-workers and peers. I was born and raised in Detroit and Detroit sports are part of my DNA. Listeners might not agree with my opinions or show content all of the time, but I genuinely try to produce shows that Detroit sports fans want every single day.”

 

ABC Audio Promotes Liz Alesse to VP. Rising from the director and executive producer of podcast programming position to vice president of ABC Audio is Liz Alesse. In this role, Alesse will oversee the organization’s entire audio business, including ABC News Radio, podcasts, and the entertainment content service. ABC News senior vice president of streaming and digital content Reena Mehta says, “She has been instrumental in growing and re-organizing our award-winning podcast team, developing successful content and monetization strategies, and partnering closely within the news division and across The Walt Disney Company to promote our work. Liz oversaw the successful launches of new podcasts, including, ‘Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson,’ ‘Close Up’ and ‘The Book Case with Kate and Charlie Gibson.’ She also spearheaded creating the ‘GMA’ Channel on Apple Podcasts, which holds the new ‘Good Morning America’ podcast and ABC Audio’s growing library of lifestyle, culture and entertainment on-demand audio content. Under her leadership, the team received Webby Awards, a Gracie Award, GLAAD Special Recognition honors and more.”

 

Edison Research Q1 Top 50 Podcasts Chart; Controversy Has Not Hurt Joe Rogan. The Edison Podcast Metrics chart of the top 50 podcasts in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2022 has been released and the controversy surrounding Spotify’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2021 has not harmed listening; in fact, it appears to have helped it. Edison Research director of research Gabriel Soto says, “Despite a turbulent and controversial ride for Joe Rogan at the beginning of the quarter, his show not only remains the most popular in the U.S., but it has increased in listenership – distancing itself from the number two spot.” This chart by Edison ranks the 50 biggest podcasts by audience size, based on Edison Podcast Metrics (formerly known as the Podcast Consumer Tracking Report). Edison says its list is “the only podcast measurement service that measures the relative audience size and demographics of all podcast networks in the U.S. and measures based on actual podcast listening, not downloads, and does not require an opt-in from podcast networks. Some of the other podcasts making the chart connected to radio-oriented companies include: #6 “Stuff You Should Know” (iHeartPodcasts), #9 “The Ben Shapiro Show” (The Daily Wire), #18 “The Dan Bongino Show” (Cumulus Podcast Network), #31 “The Dave Ramsey Show” (The Ramsey Network), and #39 “The Mark Levin Show” (Cumulus Podcast Network).

 

TALKERS News Notes. According to data from Nielsen, Newsmax’s live coverage of former President Donald Trump’s Pennsylvania rally pushed the network ahead of CNN in audience viewership on Friday night (5/6). Newsmax says that it pulled 738,000 total viewers between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm ET, with an evening prime-time average of 579,000 viewers. CNN peaked at 645,000 viewers during Anderson Cooper’s show, drawing an average audience of 545,000 on Friday night. Newsmax adds that for the past year, is has consistently held the position as the fourth-highest-rated cable news channel in the U.S. and a top-20 cable channel in daytime, according to Nielsen…..The Independent Broadcasters Association says it is delivering on its promise to provide an efficient way for members to share local talent in which all talent made available to members by members will be on a very affordable cash basis, eliminating the need for costly barter deals. IBA executive director Ron Stone comments, “One of the most costly expenditures for independent radio is paying for syndication, whether by cash, barter, or a combination thereof. Our goal is to provide our IBA members with an opportunity to choose cost-effective talent from other IBA members and eliminate the need to give local inventory to large networks that sell to the very clients we used to do business with nationally, and at far better prices than network pricing. This, I believe, is a huge opportunity to get back inventory used against us at extremely low prices.”

 

The Economy, Russia-Ukraine War, Mark Esper Book, Midterms/Trump & the GOP, Roe v Wade, Musk & Twitter, COVID-19, and Western Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10). The state of the U.S. economy, the high cost of food and gasoline, and concerns about a recession; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rumors of Vladimir Putin’s poor health, and the U.S. House approves aid to Ukraine; former Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s book,  A Sacred Oath, that paints former President Donald Trump in an unflattering light; the Trump-approved primary candidates for the November midterms and Trump’s influence over the GOP; the protests over the leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade; the controversial attempt by Elon Musk to acquire Twitter; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., concerns about new variants, and the Chinese zero-COVID policy; and the drought affecting the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

| June 23, 2020

Ramsey Solutions to Expand; Create 600 News Jobs. The Tennessean reports that Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey Solutions is investing $52 million to construct a second office building on its campus in Franklin, Tennessee and will create 600 new jobs. The paper says this project is “part of Ramsey Solutions’ continued expansion, which started in 2015 when the company closed on 47 acres of land in the Berry Farms development.” Dave Ramsey is quoted saying, “We appreciate our partnership with Governor [Bill] Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in helping us create another 600 jobs for our state. Tennessee’s low tax environment is causing healthy business growth and migration. It’s helping boost our economy, and we’re honored to be a part of that.” The story goes on to say that in 2019, “the Ramsey team moved into the first six-story office building, which includes podcast and radio studios, more than 200,000 square feet of workspace, a team member cafeteria, a bookstore and coffee shop for guests watching ‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ live in the studio. This latest expansion will accommodate the company’s continued growth. Construction on the second office building began in August 2019 and is expected to be completed in May 2021.”

Joe Pags Celebrates 10 Years as Host of ‘The Weekend.’ The weekly issues-oriented program “The Weekend” has been airing on iHeartMedia stations since the late 1990s. It was created to provide live weekend talk content for the company’s news/talk stations and featured a rotating cast of then-Clear Channel talk hosts. In June of 2010, Premiere Networks named WOAI, San Antonio talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo the permanent host of the three-hour show that is heard on more than 300 stations.  Premiere says, “Each weekend on the show, Joe Pagliarulo – or “Pags” as he’s affectionately known – offers listeners a refreshing break from traditional talk as he covers a variety of stories and topics that affect all Americans – from family, social issues, and pop culture, to news headlines and politics. The relevant, entertaining and often funny program also features playful debate.” Speaking about his 10th anniversary, Pags says, “It is such an honor to be able to crack the mic every weekend and talk to wonderful people across the nation! Time flies when doing what I love. I’m humbled that it’s been a decade!  Looking forward to many more years to come.”

Heidi Glaus Hosts Afternoons on KTRS-AM, St. Louis. With the recent retirement of Guy Phillips from CH Holdings’ news/talk KTRS-AM, St. Louis, the station elevates Phillips’ co-host Heidi Glaus to lead personality. The station says Glaus “debuts her new show ‘The Heidi Glaus Show with Josh Gilbert’ after a short but solid run with radio legend Guy Phillips. Heidi is a former, longtime reporter and host of ‘Show Me St. Louis’ for KSDK television. Glaus is originally from the small town of New Madrid, Missouri. She attended Williams Woods University and played softball and basketball. Following college, she started working at KSDK in 1996 as an intern, then transitioned into working as a production assistant for the network after her internship ended.” KTRS says Josh Gilbert joined KTRS in 2010 handling shifts “nobody else wanted to do.” After producing the “Guy Phillips Show,” Gilbert rises to his new producer/co-host role.

PPM Analysis: COVID-19’s Effect on Spoken-Word Listening. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM and April 2020 PPM surveys to analyze spoken word listening trends. In this report based on weekly, 6+ AQH share, Kinosian charts listening trends by market, ratings gains by market, ratings losses by market, top 20 gains by spoken-word stations, top 20 losses by spoken-word stations, and more. See it all here.

Jason McCollim Elevated to SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio. Programming pro Jason McCollim moves from iHeartMedia’s Colorado Springs/Pueblo markets where he was SVP of programming to the company’s Austin/San Antonio region to serve in the same capacity. The clusters include legendary news/talk WOAI-AM, San Antonio; sports talk KVET-AM, Austin; and 13 other brands. iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio president Matt Martin says, “It is terrific to re-connect and work with Jason again. Jason is passionate about leading teams, is a proven winner, and fits our culture perfectly. We are excited to welcome him to our team.” McCollim comments, “Thank you iHeartMedia for this fantastic opportunity to work in not one, but two of the most competitive radio landscapes in the country. I am beyond excited to join forces with the already incredible leadership, sales, and programming teams in the Austin and San Antonio markets.”

Peter Tripi Rises to EVP of Affiliate Sales at Premiere Networks. Affiliate sales pro Peter Tripi is promoted from his senior vice president of affiliate sales/talk and morning shows position with Premiere Networks to executive vice president of affiliate sales. In this new position, Tripi will oversee affiliate sales and affiliate marketing for all of Premiere’s talent, including: Rush Limbaugh, Ryan Seacrest, Delilah, Sean Hannity, Steve Harvey, Glenn Beck, The Breakfast Club, Bobby Bones, Elvis Duran, Mario Lopez, the FOX Sports Radio Network, and many others. Additionally, he’ll manage affiliations for more than 60 prep, production, imaging and research services. In total, Tripi and his team are responsible for more than 7,100 radio affiliations worldwide. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “I’ve worked with Peter for over two decades and I couldn’t ask for a better representative for our unmatched lineup of national radio personalities and their brands. His extensive industry experience and tremendous insight make him an effective leader and valued member of our team. I look forward to working together for years to come.”

Spiking COVID-19 Numbers in South and West, Trump Tulsa Rally/Presidential Race, Black Lives Matter Movement, Confederate & Colonial Era Statues, Seattle Autonomous Zone, and Trump Expands Visa Ban Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22). The rising number of cases of COVID-19 in states in the South and the West as economies re-open; the aftermath of President Trump’s rally in Tulsa and his race against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests at LaFayette Park in DC; the movement to remove statues of Confederate and Colonial-era figures from public land; Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announces the city will take back the Capitol Hill district that’s been an “autonomous zone”; and President Trump’s expansion of the ban on employment-based visas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. WNYM-AM, New York “AM970 The Answer” announces a new producer for the morning drive “Joe Piscopo Show.” The Salem Media Group station says it recently said “goodbye” to longtime producer Frank Morano and is now welcoming back Joseph Sibilia as the new producer for the program. Sibilia worked on ‘The Joe Piscopo Show’ from 2017 – 2018 as a social media assistant and production assistant. He left the show to take on the executive/associate producer and director of parody development role at Entercom’s WPHT, Philadelphia…..According to data from Edison Research’s May 2020 Share of Ear data, streaming hit double digits for the first time with 10% of AM/FM radio listening coming from streams versus 90% of listening on a traditional radio receiver. This comes as listening patterns have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Edison director of research Laura Ivey says, “Adoption of radio station streams continues to be slow. While it remains an area of opportunity for broadcasters, to date most people in the U.S. listen over the air when they are listening to AM/FM radio content.” She adds, “The statistics here represent the combination of music and spoken-word listening. Our research shows listening via streaming is higher for spoken-word radio stations such as news, public radio, talk and sports, while listening via streaming is lower for music radio stations.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One News will present the special, “Black Lives Matter: From Protests to Police Reform,” over the July 4th holiday weekend. Correspondent Elliott Francis will explore “how the killing of George Floyd by a police officer sparked a national reckoning on racial and social injustice in the United States and fueled a movement years in the making, with massive demonstrations across cities large and small protesting violent police tactics. Francis also will look at the impact the movement is having from the boardroom to the courtroom, and from the sidelines to the big screen.” It will replace “The Week in Review” on July 4-5…..CBS Audio announces its special one-hour, weekend program “Coronavirus: Changed Forever” has evolved into “America: Changed Forever,” allowing it to address “new issues emerging daily from protests to elections to health.” Also, CBS is presenting its three-hour Independence Day special hosted by Gil Gross. CBS says, “From fireworks to the Declaration of Independence, this three-hour block of programming will focus on what makes July 4​th so special to all Americans and how this year’s most patriotic holiday will be so different from celebrations of the past.”…..ABC Audio is providing special programming to affiliates for the July 4th holiday weekend. For talk stations, ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Turning to Tech,” a show that explores how Americans used technology while sheltering in place. From virtual classrooms and doctor appointments, to exercising at home and remote work, Stone reports on the new role technology plays in daily life…..A podcast production partnership has been struck between iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio and WarnerMedia Entertainment (HBO, HBO Max, TNT, TBS, truTV, etc) for the parties to co-produce a slate of companion podcasts for HBO Max’s upcoming catalog of original and legacy shows. The first podcasts to debut will include companion podcasts for the comedy thriller series “Search Party” and sci-fi drama “Raised by Wolves.” The new slate of companion podcasts will play as standalone productions in their own right, but will often center around and help promote HBO Max programming…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington says that in the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd and renewed calls for meaningful change and racial equality in America, it is releasing a new podcast titled, “Colors: A Dialogue on Race in America.” The program is hosted by longtime WTOP national security correspondent JJ Green and former WTOP contributor and creator of “Core Values,” Chris Core. WTOP says, “Each week, JJ and Chris – a black man and a white man who have known each other for 30 years – will engage in raw, real, honest and, sometimes, uncomfortable conversations about race. JJ and Chris will also invite guests to offer their knowledge and opinions on issues and give listeners an opportunity to ask questions in a safe place.” The podcast is a “revival” of a similar radio show the pair piloted in 1993 called “Black and White” while they were colleagues at crosstown WMAL…..Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon is honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Kenyon is one of 31 broadcasters to receive the honor since 1989. Entercom Detroit regional president Michael Doyle says, “Debbie is a relentless leader whose work ethic and breadth of expertise serve as a pillar for our Detroit market. I congratulate her for this distinguished honor and am proud to see her outstanding career achievements recognized through this award.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic rock WRKI, Danbury, Connecticut “I-95” program director and afternoon drive personality Tim Sheehan exits the station after a 30-year career. The station’s morning host Ethan Carey reports on the “I-95” website, “It was 3:00 pm on Thursday, June 18, 2020, when I-95’s Tim Sheehan turned on his microphone for the last time to say goodbye to his afternoon classic rock audience. He told me it was time for a new challenge and a new adventure. He graciously thanked his listeners for their support over the last 30 years and handed over the reins as I-95’s afternoon rock jock to I-95 production director and former part-time air personality, Large Dave.”…..iHeartMedia announces its all-new television and radio special, “iHeartCountry 4th of July BBQ” featuring country music artists Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina, and Old Dominion performing live from the backyards of their homes. The program is being hosted by Bobby Bones. It’ll be broadcast as a television event on Friday, July 3 at 8:00 pm ET on The CW Network and ​audio broadcast on iHeartCountry stations nationwide…..Alpha Media’s classic hits KXGL, Amarillo, Texas “100.9 The Eagle” adds the Sun Broadcast Group syndicated “Ashley and Brad” show to air on mornings…..The Tulsa Music Awards names country KWEN-FM “K95.5” morning drive personality Natalie Cash “Tulsa’s Favorite Radio Personality.” Cash co-hosts the “Cash & Bradley Show” on the Cox Media Group station. Station PD Matt Bradley says, “Natalie is bold and vivacious and so much fun – it’s hard not to love her and want to help her on whatever project she is working on. When Natalie tells listeners that we are going to get involved and do something to help others, it is incredible the way they respond. She really knows how to utilize the power of radio to affect change in a meaningful way.”