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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

| January 19, 2022

iHeartMedia Ups Joe De Angelis to SVP of Promotions. This corporate promotion to SVP of promotions for the iHeartMedia Markets Group for Joe De Angelis comes after serving as director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia New York and national event brand manager since 2015. In his new role, De Angelis will “oversee promotions efforts across iHeartMedia’s entire roster of iconic brands and franchises — broadcast and digital — and align promotional efforts across iHeartMedia markets by creating and spearheading iHeartMedia’s Promotions Center.” De Angelis will report to Scott Hopeck, division president for the iHeartMedia Markets Group. Hopeck says, “I’m thrilled to promote Joe to senior vice president of promotions. During his time with iHeartMedia New York, Joe has proven that he is more than qualified for this role. He has extensive experience overseeing all marketing and promotions initiatives for our New York City stations, as well as our national tentpole events. Joe is a natural leader and an exceptional collaborator. I’m confident that he will effectively evolve how we develop and execute promotions for our brands and our partners.”

Audacy’s Bennett Zier Honored with MLK Jr Community Leaders Award. Radio executive Bennett Zier – who serves as Audacy Virginia SVP and market manager – was honored by The Urban League of Hampton Roads at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders event with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Award. Zier says, “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the Audacy stations in Hampton Roads. It’s our goal every day to embrace our local communities and partner with local leaders to build awareness in key areas like education, health and job growth…all while promoting compassion in our daily lives.” The award is presented to individuals or groups who exemplify service, demonstrate the values modeled by Dr. King, and make significant contributions to the Hampton Roads community. This year, Pharrell Williams served as the keynote speaker for the virtual event to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognize dedicated leaders in the Hampton Roads community.

Compass Media Networks Promotes Doug Ingold. Eight-year Compass Media Networks staffer Doug Ingold is promoted to vice president of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming, effective immediately. Ingold will continue to be based out of the company’s Los Angeles office and will continue to spearhead distribution of some of the company’s entertainment shows, including “Big D & Bubba,” “Dave & Mahoney,” “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Rick Dees,” “Pop Crush Nights,” “Taste of Country,” “Ultimate Classic Rock” and many others. Ingold comments, “Compass Media Networks commitment to music & entertainment programming is strong and I’m grateful to be contributing to its long-term growth. It’s a privilege to serve our affiliates and partners with a tremendous roster of talent, shows and digital assets. Many thanks to our team for their support and much gratitude to Peter Kosann, Hiram Lazar, and Adam Wilbur.”

‘Today’s Homeowner’ Announces Backyard Makeover Promotion. The nationally syndicated home improvement television show “Today’s Homeowner” announces the 2022 edition of the “Backyard Paradise” promotion is now accepting entries through February 13. The winner of this contest, sponsored by Pavestone and Quikrete, will receive a backyard makeover and be featured on “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” Lipford’s Today’s Homeowner Media also syndicates a weekly radio program of the same name. Lipford says, “You can’t go wrong when developing an outdoor living area for your home. This contest is a highlight for me every year because it’s rewarding to work with homeowners who want to improve and invest in their homes. My team and I get to help bring a dream to reality, plus share some creative, practical inspiration with our audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that public radio WBEZ-FM’s parent company “is moving forward on plans to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times — a merger designed to assure survival of the money-losing newspaper while creating one of the nation’s largest nonprofit local news organizations.” Feder says that the “financial terms were not disclosed, but major funding is expected from Michael Sacks, lead investor in the Sun-Times, along with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pritzker Traubert Foundation…..PodcastOne announces the launch of the “Cobra Koves” podcast and vodcast with beloved “Cobra Kai” star Martin Kove. The podcast will make its debut tomorrow (1/20) and will feature Kove and his children, fraternal twins Jesse and Rachel, as they recap episodes of the Netflix global hit television series, share stories from the original Karate Kid trilogy of films and give insight into their close-knit family bond…..Today’s episode of ABC News’ flagship daily podcast “Start Here,” is the 1,000th episode of the program hosted by Brad Mielke…..The PGA TOUR and SiriusXM sign a multi-year extension of their broadcasting agreement, which will continue to deliver extensive tournament coverage on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel for subscribers nationwide through 2024. The deal provides for live coverage of every round of 38 PGA TOUR events throughout the season.

COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Biden Press Conference, Violent Crime, Inflation/Supply Chain, Ukraine Standoff, Trump Organization Investigation, and Synagogue Attacker Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18). The high rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, SCOTUS on Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, and mask purchase; the battle for control of Congress in the midterm elections and Donald Trump’s relationship with the GOP; today’s President Biden press conference; the rise of violent crime in America’s major cities; high retail and oil prices and the effect of the broken supply chain; relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine; the New York AG’s investigation into the Trump Organization; and the prior criminal record of Texas synagogue attacker Malik Faisal Akram were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

| January 11, 2022

Attorney Arthur Aidala to Host Nightly Show on Salem’s ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” adds Big Apple attorney Arthur Aidala to the daily lineup with 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Aidala Power Hour: Making The Case For The City He Loves” program. Salem Media Group New York operations manager Matthew Sambolin says, “Arthur Aidala puts on a show in the courtroom, and now he gets to do it in front of the biggest judge of all – the New York City Tri-State region. Can’t wait to hear what he brings to afternoon drive, with no objections!” Aidala is the managing partner of the Law Offices of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C. and the former senior DA of Kings County, New York. He currently represents such high-profile clients as Alan Dershowitz, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Harvey Weinstein. He has been a recurrent guest on ‘The Joe Piscopo Show’ and ‘Radio Night Live’ with Kevin McCullough, as well as a legal commentator for 12 years on FOX News Channel. Aidala says, “I am honored and excited to join the talk radio team lineup at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ With the ‘Power Hour’, we will be sitting down with the key New Yorkers to get to the heart of what makes this city tick.”

Vining Named PD at Cumulus Media’s ‘Talk 99.5’ in Birmingham. Talk radio pro Valerie Vining is named program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WZRR-FM, Birmingham “Talk 99.5.” Vining has been serving as morning drive co-host of the “Dixon & Vining” program (with Richard Dixon), a role in which she will continue. Prior to that, she spent more than 13 years as news director for Cumulus Birmingham. Vining says, “I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to take on the role of program director for WZRR ‘Talk 99.5’ Birmingham. My radio career, which spans over 30 years, has prepared me for this moment and challenge and I look forward to taking my team to the next level. Thank you to James Robinson and Ryan Haney for believing in me and my abilities. I’m so proud to work for Cumulus Media.”

Ramsey Solutions Hosts Free ‘Building Wealth’ Livestream. This Thursday (1/13), nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey will host a free livestream at 8:00 pm ET titled, “Building Wealth in 2022.” Joining Ramsey will be New York Times bestselling author Rachel Cruze and host of “The Fine Print” podcast, George Kamel. According to Ramsey Solutions’ State of Personal Finance study, more than half of Americans (56%) feel behind on investing. And 42% aren’t saving for retirement at all. Dave Ramsey says, “There are a lot of investing trends right now claiming they’re the best way to get rich. But I’ve done stupid with a lot of zeros at the end, and I’ve coached people who hit bottom from bad investments. From my 30 years on the radio, I’ve seen over and over that real millionaires follow a proven plan for their money, not a get-rich-quick scheme. This free event will show you it’s possible for you too. Now is the time to prepare for your future.”

On-Air Changes at iHeartMedia’s ‘XTRA 1360’ San Diego. Drive time changes take place at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM, San Diego “XTRA 1360.” New to morning drive is “The Hartman and Rich O Show” with Steve Hartman and Rich Ohrnberger and in afternoon drive, the “Jon and Jim” show with Jon Schaeffer and Jim Russell debuts. Hartman and Ohrnberger currently work together on FOX Sports Radio and have successfully hosted together on XTRA 1360’s “Loose Cannons” show. Schaeffer and Russell also host “The Wrap-Up Show” following San Diego Padres games. “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd continues to air weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by “The Darren Smith Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest says, “This exciting new lineup caters to the desires of sports fans in San Diego. In addition to providing the very best sports talk, we’ll also continue to provide our listeners with unparalleled access to the NFL, the Padres, San Diego State University athletics, and all San Diego sports news.”

BIN: Black Information Network Wins Innovation Award. The Black American-targeted radio format from iHeartMedia – BIN: Black Information Network – wins the 2022 BIG Innovation Award in the media category from the Business Intelligence Group. BIN: Black Information Network was launched in June of 2020 as a 24/7 comprehensive national audio news network dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news with a Black voice and perspective. It is focused on service to the Black community and providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding. It is heard over the air in 32 markets and is distributed nationally through the iHeartRadio app. Business Intelligence Group COO Maria Jiminez says, “Innovation is driving growth in the global economy. We are thrilled to be honoring Black Information Network as they are one of the organizations leading this charge and helping humanity progress.” BIN president Tony Coles comments, “Innovation has been one of BIN’s core values since our inception. It drives us to keep growing and creating spaces for the Black community to hear and contribute to the news that matters most to them. It’s an honor to be recognized with an incredible lineup of organizations and individuals who share the value of innovation and prove it in their work every day.”

AdLarge and G Networks Announces Sales Partnership. The two firms announce that they have entered into an ad sales partnership that will create “a new dynamic and impressive ad sales powerhouse in network audio.” In addition to continuing to represent content producers, AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the network audio ad sales inventory for both companies. G Networks will continue to offer and affiliate their premium programming and services through their existing affiliations team to radio stations across the U.S. G Networks president Warren Friedland states, “We’re excited to partner with AdLarge. AdLarge has a reputation for delivering innovative campaigns to help brands reach their media goals. AdLarge’s ad sales efforts coupled with our own extremely targeted networks will lead to a better return on investment for advertisers, brands, and agencies.” AdLarge co-CEO Gary Schonfeld adds, “This unique partnership will enhance our already robust ad sales networks, as well as generate greater critical mass and increased coverage of major markets. This is a win-win for the advertisers and the network audio community. The partnership with G Networks will greatly benefit the audio campaigns of our advertisers and agency partners.”

TALKERS News Notes. Personality Jesse Watters is named host of FOX News Channel’s 7:00 pm ET hour. The new program, “Jesse Watters Primetime” will launch on January 24. Watters will continue his current role as a co-host on “The Five.” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says, “Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows, ‘The Five’ and ‘Watters’ World.’ We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”…..Cumulus Media and DCP Entertainment unveil the second season lineup for DCP’s award-winning podcast, “Say Their Name,” on the Cumulus Podcast Network. The series focuses on the stories of Black individuals who were assaulted and killed by police and in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states, with an emphasis on the women who often get overlooked. The first episode in the series marks the one-year anniversary of the attack on the United States Capitol with a look back at Miriam Carey, who was killed in 2013 by law enforcement.

Broadcasters Foundation to Honor Lesley Visser with Lifetime Achievement Award. Sports media legend Lesley Visser is being honored by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with its Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented during the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, being held on March 14, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Visser is the only sportscaster – male or female – to have worked on network broadcasts of the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, the Triple Crown, the Olympics, the U.S. Open, and the World Figure Skating Championship. BFoA Foundation chairman Scott Herman says, “Lesley has an extraordinary number of ‘firsts’ in her accomplished and impressive career. We’re very proud to recognize her many accomplishments, not only as a pioneering female sportscaster, but as a prominent leader in sports broadcasting, overall.” Visser says, “I am enormously honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which is vital to our colleagues who find themselves in need of help during times of unimaginable hardship. It’s essential that we acknowledge and support such a charitable endeavor.”

COVID-19, Voting Rights, January 6, Midterm Elections, Economy/Supply Chain, U.S.-Russia Relations, and Bob Saget Passing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The soaring rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Omicron variant, vaccine mandates, and school policies; President Joe Biden’s pressure to change filibuster rules for voting rights legislation; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the November midterm elections and Joe Biden’s low approval ratings; the state of the U.S. economy and the ongoing supply chain woes; the U.S. and Russia negotiate over Ukraine; and TV icon Bob Saget dies unexpectedly at 65 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, November 19, 2021

| November 19, 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 “Biden Passed Gas” looks back at this past week of 11/15 – 11/19. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Dave Ramsey, talk show host/CEO, Ramsey Solutions; Lars Larson, talk show host, Compass Media Networks; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; and Sean Spicer, talk show host, NewsmaxTV. 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; SuperTalk 99.7 WTN, Nashville; 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 Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer 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.

Salem Los Angeles Re-Ups Horn In AM Drive. A new contract agreement between Jennifer Horn and Salem Media Group will keep Horn as co-host of “The Morning Answer” on Los Angeles news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer.” Horn and Grant Stinchfield co-host the 6:00 am – 9:00 am show, which is simulcast in the Inland Empire (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario) on Salem’s KTIE “AM 590 The Answer.” Salem vice president of spoken word Phil Boyce remarks, “Waking up Los Angeles is one of the most important jobs in radio – Jen and Grant have figured out the formula. They always have a smile, but can deliver the day’s top news with a dose of reality. Salem is very proud to showcase these hosts.” KRLA & KTIE program director Chuck Tyler notes, “Jen and Grant are the most talented team I have ever had the privilege of working with. They have the rare ability to cover and comment on serious issues, while having some fun at the same time.” Horn adds, “Once in a career you get a golden opportunity and this is it. It has been the ultimate honor working with Salem and our local team to develop a morning show that is making incredible strides in the Los Angeles market. Grant Stinchfield  is the ultimate professional. He brings a background in journalism, a unique perspective, and sense of humor. It’s been so much fun to partner and build chemistry with him.” Newsmax host Stinchfield came aboard to join Horn on KRLA & KTIE six months ago (5/18).

 

Lieberman Lands In The IE as iHM’s Senior VP/Sales. Three-year Townsquare Media Tri-Cities, Washington market president Ryan Lieberman is named senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five-station cluster in Southern California’s Inland Empire (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario). Lieberman – whose appointment is effective immediately – spent almost two decades with CBS Radio (now Audacy) in both Los Angeles and Chicago. iHeartMedia San Diego, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario president Melissa Forrest states, “We look forward to having Ryan on board. His knowledge, leadership, and passion will be a tremendous addition to the region and to our team.” Lieberman adds, “I am thrilled to return to Southern California as part of the iHeartMedia family by joining the Riverside team. Having spent the better part of my career competing against iHeartMedia, and being envious of how their teams execute marketing solutions for their clients, I’m excited to lend my expertise to an already high-functioning team.” News/talk KFOO “1440 AM Black Information Network” and sports talk KPWK “AM 1350 Fox Sports” are among iHeartMedia’s Inland Empire outlets, as are rhythmic CHR KGGI; rock KTMQ; and alternative KMYT.

 

iHeart Pledges To Create 180 Jobs in Downtown Nashville. The iHeartMedia commitment would generate 180 jobs in downtown Nashville over the next five years. While the company’s “Music City” radio stations (news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 98.3 & 1510”; Black Information Network affiliate WNRQ-HD2; classic rock WNRQ-FM; CHR WRVW; urban contemporary WUBT; and country WSIX) are housed in a separate Music Row facility, the new jobs will be based in the company’s 40,000 square-foot downtown facility, which opened last year. As first reported by the Nashville Business Journal, the Tennessee Funding Board, “unanimously approved a $1.25 million grant to iHeartMedia [yesterday, 11/18]. The company was finalizing a lease as the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early-2020.” At the time, iHM was billing the downtown location as a “second headquarters” for its digital division. The state grant reportedly equals 44% of the $2.85 million that iHeartMedia is spending on its Nashville expansion. Per the NBJ article and state records, “The grant will be used for building retrofit, fixture improvements, lease payments, and tenant improvements. A headcount did not become public until Wednesday’s meeting of the Funding Board.” State records indicate that the 180 jobs will pay an average of $51.82 an hour.

Report: WarnerMedia Planning An Audience-Measurement Data Operation. While this would be for television, Variety reports that WarnerMedia is directly targeting Nielsen Holdings, which – of course – has had a stranglehold on the TV ratings business for decades. According to Variety, WarnerMedia is talking to as many as 15 different measurement vendors with expectations it can test possibilities in next year’s first quarter. WarnerMedia data/research chief Andrea Zapata opines to Variety, “There has got to be a better alternative in measurement solutions.” At the same time though, she comments, “Nielsen is definitely a part of our business as usual and can earn a place in our future.” As the James Aycock-written Variety article mentions, “Nielsen has taken a number of hits from its media partners, particularly complaints of mismeasurement during the COVID-19 pandemic that culminated in losing its MRC accreditation.”

Today’s Homeowner Media Acquires On The House Media. After a 35-year home improvement media career, James and Morris Carey (The Carey Brothers, pictured at the right) are retiring to focus on their family remodeling business, and have sold their On The House Media to Today’s Homeowner Media. The final installment of “On The House with the Carey Brothers,” will air on its 100+ affiliates Christmas Day (12/25). Then one week later (1/1/2022), Today’s Homeowner Media will take ownership of On The House Media’s website, digital content, and social channels. Today’s Homeowner Media president/host Danny Lipford comments, “I’m both happy and sad about James and Morris’ decision to hang up their headphones and step down from their 35-year home improvement media career. They are legends in the business and will be missed. I’m glad they’ve enjoyed such a successful run, and grateful that I’m able to carry on their media tradition and legacy. Today’s Homeowner looks forward to featuring their articles, videos, and, hopefully, airing on the many radio stations they’ve earned during their career.” James Carey notes, “Morris and I have been moved by the tremendous outpouring that we have received since announcing our retirement. The positive comments, and expression of gratitude and support have been overwhelming and heartening.” Morris Carey adds, “Danny [Lipford] is a warm, pleasant and knowledgeable guy. I can’t think of anyone to whom I would rather pass on the torch.” Currently in its 13th year, the weekly, two-hour “Today’s Homeowner” is hosted by Lipford and author Joe Truini; it has 320 affiliates.

TALKERS News Notes. Recent Comscore data details continued growth of Newsmax’s online properties, including Newsmax.com. According to Comscore, Newsmax is now the #2 conservative news brand online, behind Fox News. Newsmax reports that its online increase mirrors “tremendous audience growth.” Meanwhile – per Nielsen – Newsmax TV is the fourth-highest-rated cable news channel … Syndicated host Erick Erickson’s annual three-hour “Erick Erickson Christmas Show” combines Erickson’s theological background; conversations about Christmas; and Christmas music. “Christmas is the perfect time to focus on the big picture and not the daily news headlines,” he comments. “[Our] Christmas show is designed so everyone can come together, exhale after a crazy year, and focus on the holidays.” Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB-FM “Atlanta’s News & Talk” is the flagship for “The Erick Erickson Christmas Show,” which is available on a first come/first served basis. It can be broadcast anytime from 6:00 am -12:00 midnight on (Friday) December 24 and (Saturday) December 25 … The five-station Cox Media Group Tampa cluster – which includes news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” – is teaming with Metropolitan Ministries today (Friday, 11/19) to host “Feed The Bay.” All five CMG Tampa outlets are encouraging listeners to donate food items to Metropolitan Ministries’ donation location. Cox Media Group Tampa vice president and market manager Keith Lawless notes, “This is the ninth consecutive year that Cox Media Group Tampa has been a partner with Metropolitan Ministries for the holidays. We are starting to get back to normal, but there is still a tremendous need to feed those in our community.”

U.S. Podcast Report. Top network reports are ranked by average weekly downloads and average weekly users in accordance with v2.1 of the IAB Podcast technical guidelines. They are measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics and cover the reporting period of October 4 – October 31 (2021). Stitcher Media remained first on the top networks report with 39.5 million average weekly downloads/10.7 million average weekly users. It was followed by NPR with 32.3 million average weekly downloads/7.2 million average weekly users. Coming in third was Audacy with 31.8 million average weekly downloads/10.2 million average weekly users. Among the top twenty networks, new podcast network ViacomCBS ranked ninth in average weekly downloads/tenth in average weekly users. New shows debuting this period include “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Ears Edition” (ViacomCBS); “Over My Dead Body” (Wondery); “Fantasy Football Today” (Viacom CBS); and “The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe” (Audioboom). Full results of the U.S. Podcast Report can be seen at https://www.tritondigital.com/resources/podcast-reports.

IBA, Vipology Sign Multiyear Extension. The pact with the Independent Broadcasters Association retains Vipology as IBA’s exclusive digital consultant and partner. In its first year, Vipology created the IBA’s member site; scheduled/moderated over 60 info-webinars; and handled IBA’s national contesting. Independent Broadcasters Association chief executive officer Ron Stone comments, “There would be no IBA without Vipology’s vision, technology, and execution. I’m thrilled to continue to have Vipology on-board to advise and provide the best digital products and services.” Vipology chief executive officer Chris Peaslee notes, “We are thrilled to continue to work with the IBA; dedicated to the digital success of the IBA and its members; and offering the latest digital solutions at the industry’s lowest prices. We’re proud to be standing side-by-side with  Ron [Stone] and IBA members.” The IBA was established last year (July 2020) to serve the needs of independent radio stations and groups across the country; it represents a membership base of 1,500 stations.

California Combo Rebrands From VPR To KVPR. As of this past Wednesday (11/17), Valley Public Radio (NPR affiliate) news/talk-classical KVPR, Fresno and KPRX, Bakersfield rebrands from “VPR” to “KVPR” and has a new logo. A driving force for the switch was a conflict with Vermont Public Radio, which uses the “VPR” name, as well. KVPR president and general manager Joe Moore states that, “Over the years, we’ve gone by so many different names – ‘KVPR,’ ‘FM-89,’ ‘VPR,’ ‘KPRX,’ ‘Valley Public Radio,’ and ‘NPR.’ It has led to clutter, and at times confusion. As more and more users access our content online, ‘FM-89’ has proven to be less than adequate as a name for the station. There are multiple ‘FM-89s’ across the country, and the term isn’t really relevant for non-broadcast content.” The rebranding includes a renaming of its Audiophile Magazine to the KVPR Magazine.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

| November 10, 2021

Vince Vitrano Named New Morning Host at WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s WTMJ “Newsradio 620” announces that Vince Vitrano is named the new host of the Good Karma Brands station’s “Wisconsin’s Morning News” program, replacing Gene Mueller, who recently announced his retirement after 44 years in Milwaukee radio. Mueller will retire in February 2022. Vitrano says, “For a kid born and raised in Wisconsin, this job is like playing for the Brewers and the Bucks! Salute to Gene Mueller, who is a friend, a colleague, and someone I’ve looked up to in our business. To succeed him in this role is truly an honor.” Gene Mueller comments, “Vince Vitrano is a perfect choice to fill ‘the big chair.’ He’s a true Wisconsinite — a solid news veteran who shares the interests, sensibilities, and concerns of our listeners. I will sleep better and longer knowing Vince is there, continuing a legacy broadcast with passion, care, and integrity.” Vitrano is an Emmy award winning reporter and anchor, joining E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ-TV in the spring of 2000 as a general assignment reporter. He has earned numerous honors from the Associated Press, the Milwaukee Press Club, and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. He is active in the community, on the board of directors for Special Olympics Wisconsin and The First Tee Southeast Wisconsin.

Gen Media Partners and Jim Higgins form G Accelerate Networks. Media executives Warren Friedland – managing partner of Gen Media Partners – and Jim Higgins have announced the launch of G Accelerate Networks, a joint venture in which both parties hold a stake and which Higgins will lead as president and CEO. They say G Accelerate Networks will be “laser-focused on bringing in new business from both existing and new radio content and service providers, producers, and programs that are looking to accelerate their revenue potential, as well as increase their affiliated stations and national footprint.” Higgins, who was most recently president and CEO of Key Networks, says, “Too many radio content producers are getting lost and not getting the attention and dedicated sales and affiliate services required to keep them top-of-mind with stations and thriving financially. Warren and I are committed to changing that result for those clients that join us at G Accelerate. We welcome the opportunity to provide them with the effort, resources, and passion required to deliver growth and success.” G Accelerate Networks will also tap into and work with all of Gen Media Partners’ companies – including G Networks, Hispanic Radio Networks, Gen Media Partners Radio Reps, and others – to assist in growing their revenues and affiliations. Friedland adds, “G Accelerate will also be looking for select equity investments and acquisitions in content and service provider companies whose vision and mission lines up with or complements Gen Media Partners. We’ve known Jim for many years, and he was always the shining star of the companies lucky enough to have worked with him. His vast executive experience and client relationships with both creatives, producers, agencies, and advertisers is unmatched in the network business. We are thrilled to be a part of his new venture.”

Howard Greiner to Lead iHeartMedia Albany. With the retirement of Albany area president Kristen Delaney set to take effect on December 31, iHeartMedia announces that Howard Greiner is been named the new area president for the Albany area, which includes Poughkeepsie and Sussex, New Jersey. Greiner has been operating his own consulting firm for the past three years and spent the 18 years before that with Buntin Out-Of-Home Media. iHeartMedia Community Markets division president Dan Lankford says, “I’m excited to welcome Howard to the iHeart family. Howard’s extensive marketing knowledge and years of experience building winning teams will be a great asset to our Albany area operations.” Greiner says, “I am excited to join America’s leading audio company bringing over 30 years of national, regional and local marketing and media experience to an exceptional team of professionals in the Albany, Poughkeepsie and Sussex, New Jersey markets. Our team will continue to deliver best-in-class marketing initiatives to the region’s business community in an ever-evolving media landscape.”

Scott Basilotta Named VP of Distribution for Today’s Homeowner Media. Nine-year staffer Scott Basilotta is promoted to vice president of distribution for Today’s Homeowner Media. Basilotta most recently served the company as director of television and radio syndication, leading distribution efforts for the brand’s nationally syndicated television and radio shows, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” During his tenure, Basilotta expanded the “Today’s Homeowner” TV footprint by 38%. The show currently airs in 208 of 210 markets and is available in 92% of the U.S. “Today’s Homeowner” Radio has seen even more growth over the past nine years with a 458% increase in stations airing the weekly show. The two-hour broadcast currently airs on 319 stations. Additionally, the brand’s “Tips for Today’s Homeowner” vignettes have seen a 362% increase during Basilotta’s term. The 90-second features air on 377 stations.

Broadcasters Foundation Launches End of Year Giving Campaign. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is launching its annual year-end giving campaign today, with an appeal for tax-deductible donations that will allow the Foundation to continue providing financial assistance to those in broadcasting who need it most. A 501(c)3 charity, the Broadcasters Foundation is the only organization dedicated exclusively to delivering financial aid to broadcasters and their families whose lives have been upended by tragic illness, accident, or catastrophe. Personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative can be made at www.broadcastersfoundation.org/donate. This year’s plea for donations follows a year-and-a-half of several cancelled fundraising events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even as more broadcasters than ever are reaching out for monthly or emergency relief. The Broadcasters Foundation will award more than $1.8 million in monthly and one-time emergency grants in 2021. Monthly grants have increased 75% and more than 500 emergency grants have been awarded since 2017. Over the past 20 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed more than $15 million to broadcasters in need. BFoA chairman Scott Herman says, “Our grant recipients are hard-working broadcasters from across the country and from all size markets, who have been hit by challenging, often life-altering circumstances. With the support and generosity of the people in our industry, we can help your colleagues and their families get through their toughest times.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow night (11/11) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting a Town Hall broadcast addressing vaccine mandates. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott leads the news and digital departments as the station addresses the legal ramifications of vaccine mandates on both employers and employees. Scott underscores this program is not intended to debate whether vaccine mandates are good or bad. “These mandates are a reality. Our goal is to detail the legal obligations, rights and options for both employer and employee.” The program’s on-air panel will feature: Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association; Peter Frattarelli, Esq., a workplace law attorney with Archer Attorneys at Law and chair of Archer’s Labor & Employment Practice Group; and Dana Wefer, Esq., a workers’ rights attorney. The panel will also address issues surrounding medical and religious exemptions, as well as workplace accommodations from both the employee and employer standpoint…..The final regular show for WFAN, New York’s Steve Somers will happen this Friday (11/12). Somers is the Audacy station’s longest-serving sports talk host who announced recently that he would be retiring “sooner rather than later.” On Monday (11/15) from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, WFAN will air a special show featuring guest callers…..Salem Media Group announces it will present at the virtual Q4 Investor Summit conference at 1:00 pm CT on November 17. The Investor Summit (formerly MicroCap Conference) is an exclusive, independent conference dedicated to connecting smallcap and microcap companies with qualified investors…..The Newsmax nationally syndicated “Rob Carson Show” – heard daily from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – announces the addition of three new affiliate stations as Delmarva Education Association’s WMLB-AM, Atlanta; Maga Radio Networks’ WJFN-AM/FM, Richmond; and Pan Am Broadcasting’s KDAZ-AM/K245CD add the program to their lineups…..Pictured at left is GCN nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs with the Christmas Tree at Opportunity Village – an organization that helps people with people with intellectual disabilities and their families through enrichment, empowerment, and employment programs and services. Dr. Wachs says the organization holds its Magical Forest event from Thanksgiving through the New Year each year. The event is one of its largest fundraisers to fund their programs and employment placement.

Biden Infrastructure Bill, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Inflation/Energy Prices, China’s Military Aggression, and Astroworld Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/9). The passage of President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure bill in the House and criticism of the Republicans who voted for it; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., mask & vaccine mandates, and NFL fines Packers, Rodgers and Lazard for flouting protocols; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and former President Trump’s attempt to claim executive privilege over documents the House committee is seeking; soaring retail, food, and energy prices; China’s war games using U.S. ship mock-ups; and the investigation into the deadly Astroworld concert in Houston were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.