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Friday, May 7, 2021

| May 7, 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, “The Knock on the Door,” looks back at this past week of May 3-7.   The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, talk show host, Compass Media NetworksSteve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder, scamicide.com; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkTodd Starnes, talk show host / owner, KWAM, Memphis; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Brian Koonin, Broadway musician / member, Gunhill Road. 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; 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; 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.

iHeartMedia First Quarter 2021 Net Revenue Down 9.5%. The company reports net revenue for the first quarter of 2021 of $707 million, a dip of 9.5% compare to the $781 million reported in the first quarter of 2020. iHeartMedia also reports an operating loss of $76 million compared to 2020’s operating loss of $1.7 billion. The company reports financial data by segment and the positive aspects of the report are its digital and podcast segments which reported revenue of $119 million (up 55%) and $38.4 million (up 141.9%), respectively. Broadcast radio’s revenue was $358.5 million (down 22.3%); networks revenue was $115 million (down 14.5%); and sponsorship and events revenue was $22.4 million (down 23.7%). iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “The first quarter outperformed our expectations on all financial metrics as the company continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 downturn, which is not just a continuation of the positive trends we’ve seen across the business – we believe it’s a validation of our long-term multiplatform product and revenue strategy and the investments we have made in growth areas like podcasting, ad tech, and the continued expansion of broadcast radio on digital devices. As a company we continue to prioritize identifying new opportunities across the audio, advertising, and data analytics sectors to expand our Total Addressable Market from just the $15 billion of Radio TAM to include the $160 billion of Digital TAM, providing us with new revenue opportunities for meaningful and sustainable growth for all our operating segments.” Company president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler adds, “Our ability to adapt and innovate, as well as our strategic allocation of capital, during the COVID-19 pandemic have set the stage for strong growth in 2021. Our cost management, investments in key areas of growth, and focus on our core-competencies helped us to achieve Adjusted EBITDA of $102 million in the first quarter, and we remain confident that we will be back to 2019 Adjusted EBITDA levels by the end of 2021.”

Audacy Net Revenue for First Quarter of 2021 Declines 19%. Reporting its first quarterly financial report after rebranding from Entercom to Audacy, the company says net revenue for Q1 of 2021 was $240.8 million, a decrease of 19% over the same period in 2020. Audacy also reports a net loss of $21.6 million compared to the Q1 2020 net loss of $9.1 million. Breaking the company down by segments: local and national spot revenue was $154.3 million (down 27.5%); digital – including podcasting – revenue was $49.9 million (up 15.9%); and network revenue was $17.6 million (down 19.1%). Audacy president and CEO David Field says, “The year has gotten off to an active start as we successfully completed the rebranding of the company to Audacy, reflecting our transformational progress into a leading, multi-platform audio content and entertainment company with scaled audience reach and a leadership position in virtually every key segment of the dynamic and growing audio market. We are in the midst of a strong, albeit uneven, advertising recovery reflecting the nature of our business mix. First quarter digital revenues grew 17% and national revenues rebounded to prior year levels, but local ad revenues remained behind as many of our customers continue to be impacted by the pandemic. Because the local radio advertiser base is weighted toward later-stage recovery categories including restaurants, concerts and entertainment, movies, travel, and theme parks, we anticipate a strong recovery of local advertising across these businesses during the third and fourth quarters. Our second quarter pacings are up more than 60% over 2020 reflecting massive improvements across all segments of our business from the depressed levels of the prior year. In another strong sign of recovery, our average local customer spending levels are now exceeding their average 2019 spending levels. Total local ad spending is down because of a decline in the number of customers with a significant majority of those inactive accounts concentrated in later-stage recovery business categories. During the quarter, we announced and completed the acquisition of Podcorn, the country’s #1 podcast influencer marketplace hosting over 44,000 podcast creators, substantially bolstering our customer product offerings. We also announced a multi-year agreement with BetMGM making them a preferred sports betting partner of the company. We are emerging from the pandemic as a meaningfully stronger and better positioned company with significantly enhanced growth potential and are excited by the opportunities ahead as we continue to drive innovation and development of new products, content, and capabilities.”

Salem Media Group Reports Q1 Revenue Growth of 1.9%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2021, Salem Media Group, delivers positive numbers as total revenue for the company was $59.4 million, an increase of 1.9% over the same period in 2020. The company reports that total operating expenses decreased 27.9% to $55 million from $76.3 million and operating expenses – excluding gains or losses on the disposition of assets, stock- based compensation expense, changes in the estimated fair value of contingent earn-out consideration, impairments, depreciation expense and amortization expense – decreased 6.2% to $51.4 million from $54.8 million. Salem also reveals operating income of $4.4 million compared to the operating loss of $18 million it posted in the first quarter of 2020. Salem Media Group reports its business segments and says net broadcast revenue was $44 million, a decline of 2.5% compared to the first quarter of 2020; same station net broadcast revenue was $43.9 million, a dip of 1.9%; digital media revenue was $9.6 million, an increase of 5.7%; digital media operating income rose 21.6% to $0.9 million from $0.8 million; and publishing revenue increased 43.4% to $5.7 million from $4.0 million.

‘1010XL’ in Jacksonville Celebrates Alumni Week. Jacksonville sports talk WJXL-AM/FM “1010XL” is taking a look in the rearview mirror next week as it celebrates Alumni Week beginning on Monday (5/10). The Seven Bridges Radio LLC-owned station is bringing back popular hosts of the past, is “re-pairing” hosts who formerly worked together and is taking a journey back through the memories of the station’s first 15 years. Frank Frangie, the station’s afternoon drive host, and Rick Ballou will reunite in afternoon drive for the entire week. The duo handled afternoon drive together for more than seven years beginning in 2009. They also will be joined periodically throughout the week by Jessica Blaylock, a mainstay on the show during much of the time Frangie and Ballou were together. Mike Dempsey, the host of “Jaguars Today,” will be reunited for the entire week with his former co-host, former Jags’ linebacker Tom McManus. Guest during the week include Jeff Lageman, David Garrard, Jason Godbee and Ryan O’halloran. “Helmets and Heels,” the station’s weekly show featuring all-female hosts, will air every night during the week from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Current hosts Lauren Brooks and Donna Murphy, who have been on the show since its inception, will be joined by show regular Taylor Doll as well as former cast members Jessica Blaylock, Blythe Brumleve, Amanda Borges and others. “The Drill,” the station’s morning show, will have interview segments with former co-hosts Jordan DeArmon, Mackenzie Thirkill, as well as Tony Boselli and some surprise guests. Hays Carlyon, currently an afternoon drive co-host, will sit in on “XL Prime Time” with Joe Cowart, Matt Hayes, and Leon Searcy. “XL Prime Time” guests include Chad Scott, Terry Norvelle, Scott Manze and more. While Frangie and Ballou will have segments with Joe Block, Pat Dooley, Amanda Borges, former program director Jason Dixon, and others.

RTDNA Presents Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. The RTDNA announces the regional winners of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Awards and bestows more than 750 awards in recognizing more than 350 local radio and television stations. RTDNA chair Andrea Stahlman says, “The regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award recipients we announce today produced extraordinary journalism that brought clarity and context to 2020’s biggest news stories. The winning work demonstrates dedication, determination, and a commitment to the highest ethical standards enshrined in RTDNA’s Code of Ethics.” In a new category for 2021, more than 40 news outlets earned regional Murrow Awards for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including examples of bilingual reporting, contextual coverage of inequality and discrimination, and newsroom-convened community discussions. RTDNA executive director and COO Dan Shelley comments, “Local journalists across the country guided Americans through a pandemic, ongoing racial reckoning and a fraught election cycle, despite facing unprecedented operational challenges and an astonishing number of physical attacks during 2020. The persistence of the regional Murrow Award winners we recognize today is a testament to these journalists’ commitment to their First Amendment duty.” See the complete list of winners here.

Edison Research Releases ‘Moms and Media 2021’ Study Results. The results of Edison Research’s “Moms and Media 2021” study have been released and the company says some of the highlights include that 46% of U.S. moms own a smart speaker, up from 33% last year. Sixty-three percent of U.S. moms now use voice-operated personal assistants of any kind, including smart speakers, smart phones, tablets, computers, and other devices. Of those moms who own a smart speaker, they own an average of 2.7 of the devices. Edison Research vice president Melissa DeCesare says, “The past year during COVID has been about adjustment, especially for moms. The pandemic uprooted everything we knew and were familiar with and it forced a new at-home lifestyle for the entire family. Moms are tasked with keeping it all on track and they do it with help from modern technology. Our 2021 report shows that moms have not only maintained their commitment to devices and mobile tendencies, but they’ve actually adjusted their habits to better suit their needs during the pandemic.” Other noteworthy data include: More moms are consuming online audio with 82% of U.S. moms being monthly online audio listeners compared with 76% in 2020, and 76% of U.S. moms being weekly online audio listeners compared with 70% in 2020; and more moms are listening to podcasts with 64% of U.S. moms having ever listened to a podcast (up from 57% in 2020) – 40% having listened in the last month and 28% having listened in the last week. See more about the study here.

TALKERS News Notes. After nearly three years of hosting and producing “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” on WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer,” Smaldone says she’s ending the radio edition of the food and theatre-themed program but will continue the show as a podcast this fall when Broadway reopens. Smaldone recently began a new position as executive vice president and producer at multiplatform content company Audio Drama Initiative…..PodcastOne announces a multi-year first look deal with Picture Perfect Federation, the joint venture between Picture Perfect Entertainment and Federation Entertainment led by Patrick Wachsberger, for the development of scripted serial podcast content. Under the development deal, Wachsberger and his team will introduce scripted content across multiple genres with an eye to package the resulting audio IP for television, film, and streaming platforms. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “Patrick and his team are true professionals with unparalleled success in the movie, television and scripted world. The partnership with PodcastOne will complement their expertise with over 10 years of experience in the audio space developing weekly interview styles and successful scripted programming. Together, we are going to supercharge our story telling and fan development capabilities to create a slate of programs that will be exciting for audiences, advertisers and production houses looking to be involved with our amazing IP.”…..Advertising mogul and veteran TV personality, Donny Deutsch is teaming up with Kast Media to launch his first-ever podcast titled, “On Brand with Donny Deutsch,” on May 13. Deutsch has hosted television shows such as CNBC’s long running series, “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” and MSNBC’s “Saturday Night Politics.”…..Alpha Media Canton announces that news/talk WHBC-AM is the new home of “Tangled Up In Blues with Cornel Bogdan.” Bogdan’s show first aired in September 2000 in Youngstown. He says, “When I started ‘Tangled Up In Blues’ over 20 years ago, I had no idea it would be so greatly accepted. It’s very humbling. My listeners are passionate about this music like no other. WHBC is a cornerstone in Canton. I wanted to be part of that heritage. ‘Tangled Up In Blues’ on WHBC is really good mojo!”…..“The Motley Fool” radio show host Chris Hill is the narrator of the audio book edition of Morgan Housel’s The Psychology of Money (2021 Harriman House) that is enjoying having just hit the milestone of 100,000 audiobook sales.

COVID-19 Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 3-7. The COVID-19-related issues including vaccines, variants, politics, the soaring death toll in India, and statistics combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Facebook’s Oversight Board keeping Donald Trump’s page suspended and the broader issue of censorship, followed by party politics and Liz Cheney’s battle for her status in the GOP at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Friday, May 27, 2016

| May 27, 2016

dimick, johnCumulus Media Appoints Dimick Vice President/Programming Operations. Former Lincoln Financial Media senior vice president of programming and operations John Dimick joins Cumulus Media as vice president of programming operations. Cumulus Media senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay remarks,Cumulus “John Dimick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position. He joins Doug Hamand and Greg Frey as a [vice president of programming operations]. Those three, along with our format specialists and analysts, will provide even more tools to our managers and program directors to employ when programming their stations.” Dimick – who begins his new assignment next Wednesday (6/1) – jokes, “I am very happy that Mike McVay would not buy my ‘retirement from the industry’ thinking. The new senior management team at Cumulus is building [something that] is extraordinary and compelling. I am flattered [corporate believes] I can help advance the growth and success of the stations and the remarkable Cumulus platform. Joining the corporate programming team with people like Greg Frey, Doug Hamand and the other pros at Cumulus is very exciting.” For the past 11 months, Dimick was franchise owner of the Dimick Automotive Group. In addition to Lincoln Financial stations in San Diego, Dimick has programmed Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” New York; KPLZ, Seattle; KISN, Salt Lake City; and WNCI, Columbus.

Harry HurleyWPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Donates $1,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  This year’s recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host (“Humanitarian of the Year”), Harry Hurley of WPGG, Atlantic City, capped off his acceptance speech last Friday (5/20) at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations by making a donation of $1,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA).  For almost a decade, Harry Hurley has used his successful morning show in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a platform for the numerous fundraising activities of his Hurley Morning Show Foundation that have raised more than a half million dollars in support of more than 100 New Jersey charities and service organizations.  And he has an outstanding track record of philanthropic activities going back years prior to that.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Hurley as, “The quintessential local radio talk show host – entertaining, community-involved, well-connected and philanthropic – a veritable charity machine!”  Harrison recently email blasted a powerful video plea on behalf of the BFOA to thousands of industry professionals that has drawn strong reaction and donation pledges of thousands of dollars.  According to Harrison, “Radio is one of the only forms of mass media and entertainment in which charity and community involvement are part of its fundamental fabric.  How many other forms of media are so quick to raise money for victims of disaster as radio?  A significant percentage of the stories we cover in the trade press are about radio broadcasters rising to the occasion to help people in need – sick children, homeless veterans, single moms, victims of natural disasters, catastrophic illnesses.  Helping people is a key part of all our formats.  It’s what we do. But who’s out there to help individual broadcasters when WE are stricken by tragedy and have the rug pulled out from under us?  That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of America steps up to the plate.  I know this for a fact, not just by reading press releases, or going to golden mic dinners and golf tournament fund-raisers – but by the personal experience of seeing, on more than one occasion, the Broadcasters Foundation of America step in and rescue sick, destitute and almost-completely broken people – who were, at one time, important players in this game – from literally being thrown out into the street.”  To view a video recording of Harry Hurley’s acceptance speech and donation to the BFOA, please click here.  To view Michael Harrison’s personal message on behalf of the BFOA, please click here.

Holland Cookeedison-logo-300x137Edison Research Webinar on Podcasting:  Podcasting Now “Mainstream Media.”  The firm Edison Research presented a webinar yesterday (5/26) on the state of podcasting conducted by its VP Tom Webster and covered for TALKERS by media consultant Holland Cooke.  During the webinar, Webster stated, “It’s safe at this point to call podcasting ‘mainstream media.’”  Cooke comments, It’s always puzzled me how talk radio demonizes that term, while sales reps have been telling prospects that their stations ARE mainstream.  What advertiser wants to utilize FRINGE media?” Admitting he’s wary of making predictions, Webster did venture that “Podcasting has been a medium of slow, steady growth.  This year, we saw a spike we haven’t seen before.  If we’re looking for that ‘hockey stick pattern,’ I’m willing to give you a confident ‘maybe’.”  For full details of the information-packed webinar, see Holland Cooke’s coverage by clicking here.

kinosianmikeMLB Logo2MLB Flagships: Part Two. In the second of a multi-part series, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian recaps the performance of Major League Baseball‘s radio flagships. In a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2016 PPM survey period, Mike highlights each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. Whereas all five NL Central key stations can be found in the April 2016 top ten (6+), no AL West flagship finishes higher than #20. Three AL East flagships reach the top ten in April 2016 (6+), as do three key stations of AL Central teams. See the second edition of this exclusive special feature piece about MLB flagships here.

marshall, robin“The Diary of a Sugar Mom- Don’t Tell the Kids”“Sugar Mom” Marshall’s Meaningful Marking. While “voiceover artist,” “audio producer,” and “author” are apt summations of Robin Marshall, the most important depiction of the Dallas-based talent is that she is a one-year cancer survivor. Marshall will release recordings of “Lemons to Lemonade” blogs, which she wrote while undergoing aggressive ovarian cancer treatment. Those episodes will be part of the “Sugar Mom” podcast, leading up to National Cancer Survivors Day next Sunday (6/5). Starting next month, Marshall will distribute her audio book “The Diary of a Sugar Mom: Don’t Tell the Kids” free via her “Sugar Mom” podcast on various podcast directories. Marshall comments, “I want women and men who subscribe to my podcast and/or visit my Facebook page to understand what the concept of a ‘Sugar Mom’ really is, and more importantly, what it is not. If you can try one new thing a day, you are headed towards becoming who you used to be and now want to be again.” The “Sugar Mom” podcast releases new episodes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Marshall spent 20 years as a New York City on-air talent and she is the imaging voice for several radio stations. Since being diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer, she underwent weekly chemotherapy treatments in Dallas; she is in full remission.

Nielsen May 2016Millennials Account For 66.5 Million Radio Users. This is not a homogeneous group with a common set of beliefs, interests, and behaviors; ungrouping millennials can help advertisers, agencies, and radio stations understand each group more closely. Nielsen‘s Q4 2015 “Total Audience Report” separated 18-34s into three groups: “Dependent Adults” (those living in someone else’s home); “On Their Own” millennials (those living in their own home without children); and “Starting a Family” millennials” (those living in their own home with children). The data shows 97% of 18-year-olds live in someone else’s home. By their mid-30s, 90% of millennials live in their own home, and more than half have children. Radio is an important part of a millennial’s life and they listen to it in many ways. In the average week, radio reaches about 92% of “Starting a Family” millennials; 90% of “Dependent Adult” millennials”; and 89% of “On Their Own” millennials. CHR is the number one format for all three groups, but “Dependent Adult” millennials, who tend to live at home with their parents or another adult, listen to more classic rock, classic hits-oldies, and urban AC than the overall millennial group. “Dependent Adult” millennials listen to these formats because they are exposed to them by older adults in the home. “On Their Own” millennials are the least ethnically diverse group and they show a preference for non-ethnic formats like hot AC and alternative. They also listen to sports stations more than the other two millennial groups. Radio reaches 90% of all 18-34 African-Americans each week with urban AC the top format among this group. “Starting A Family” millennials include the highest percent of Hispanic and Spanish-speaking listeners. In this group, regional Mexican has the third-highest share of listening time. Overall, 16% of this group’s listening is spent with a Spanish language format. That is more than three times the amount of “On Their Own” millennials.

WYRD-FMAll Roads Lead to the “Pothole Derby.” A constant critic of the legislature’s “lack of action” regarding South Carolina road conditions – which station executives classify as being a “wreck” – Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg talker WYRD-FM “Word” announces a contest focusing on the Upstate’s pothole crisis. Operations manager Mark Hendrix remarks that his station’sPothole Derby listeners are “fed up with our terrible roads, huge potholes, and auto damage, so we are paying them to document how bad our roads really are. We are grateful to have the support of First Class Halt to help us with the ‘Pothole Derby.'” Listeners who submit photos of the biggest, deepest, potholes could win $500 in repair services from the station and their promotion sponsor. Approved pothole pictures will be posted on the WYRD-FM “Word” website. In addition, listeners are encouraged to contact the South Carolina Department of Transportation to file complaints about potholes. Only eight stations (four owned by SummitMedia and four iHeartMedia properties) are listed in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book for Greenville-Spartanburg (market #59). SummitMedia urban AC WJMZ “107.3 Jamz Today’s R&B” ranks first with an 11.0 (12+).

smaldone and jamesGetting Together with Smaldone. For almost 24 years, Valerie Smaldone was the mid-day talent at market dominant adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM,” New York. More recently, she has been hosting/producing a variety of projects. The latest for the imaging voice of CBS Radio New York all-newser WINS is “Hit Makers: Music Icons in Performance and Conversation”; Tommy James (“Tommy James & The Shondells“) was her first guest and he sang several of his hits. In addition, Smaldone interviewed him about his book “Me, The Mob, and the Music,” as well as his days with Roulette Records. For the past two years, Smaldone’s weekly, three-hour Envision Networks’ talk show “America Weekend with Valerie Smaldone & Friends” is heard in 15 markets.

KCMO-AMKCMO-AM Slots Mysterious Saturday Morning Show. The unusual and the unexplained will be explored on the weekly, one-hour (6:00 am – 7:00 am) Wendy Garrett-hosted “Wendy’s Coffeehouse” that debuts next week (Saturday, 6/4) on Cumulus Media Kansas City talker KCMO-AM. Garrett “guarantees” the program will, “cover information and material you will not hear in the normal run of the news. It will address the unusual, under-reported, unexplained, and the mysterious.” Topics to be covered include UFO sightings, near-death experiences, innovative living strategies, and government disclosure issues. Among those already booked are “Children of Roswell” authors Thomas J. Carey & Donald R. Schmitt, who will discuss the aftermath and lifetime impact Roswell has had. Robbie Holz (“Secrets of Aboriginal Healing”) will explain beliefs and principles of the 60,000-year-old healing practices of the Australian Aborigines, who claim their techniques can help cure arthritis and cancer. Nick Redfern (“Weapons of the Gods”) will provide “evidence” that ancient civilizations developed and thrived until they “moved to self-destruction, using weapons with terrifying power.” Prior to working for KCMO-AM, Garrett – who claims to live in a haunted house – has been a reporter, host, and anchor on Kansas City outlets KCKC, KFKF, and KRVK. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2016 PPM ratings period, KCMO-AM is in a three-way tie at #20 and is down or flat for the fifth straight time (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2); Entercom hot AC KZPT is at #1 (6.9, 6+).

talkersten logoPresidential Race/Trump Protests Top Talkers TenTM for Week of May 23-27.  The activities of the candidates for president and the violent anti-Trump protests in New Mexico and California were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2, the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the FBI’s investigation of Virginia Governor and longtime Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe for alleged campaign finance improprieties were tied.  And following at #3 was President Obama’s trip to Vietnam and the related increase in Chinese naval activity.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Beasley Media GroupBeasley Broadcast Group Board Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. It is for $0.045 per share of its “Class A” and “Class B” common stock. The dividend is payable on July 8 to shareholders of record on June 30. While Beasley Broadcast Group intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends for the foreseeable future, all subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board at its discretion.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods: WHO, Des Moines afternoon driver Simon Conway pulls off a triple play today. In addition to doing his 9:00 am – 11:00 am show on WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and hosting his 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm program on WHO, Des Moines, he will fill in on Joe Pagliarulo‘s syndicated “Joe Pags Show.”

Thursday, September 25, 2014

| September 25, 2014

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago to Challenge WBBM’s News Dominance.  From a story by Robert Channick published in the Chicago Tribune comes word of some of WGN, Chicago’s programming tweaks that are designed to capture more of the news-hungry radio users in the market and, presumably take some ears away from market radio news leader WBBM.davlantesanna  Among the additions are the first hour of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano show becoming “The Business Lunch,” and focusing on Chicago business stories.  CBS RADIO’s WBBM airs “The Noon Business Hour” with Sherman Kaplan and Kris Kridel at the same time.  Additionally, former WMAQ-TV and WFLD-TV news anchor and reporter Anna Davlantes joins the station to host “The Big Story” – a 90-second news segments that will air during the Steve Cochran morning show and be a jumping-off point for show.  The same segment will air in the afternoon with WGN managing editor of radio news Judy Pielach hosting.  WGN Radio president Jimmy de Castro also tells the paper the station plans to add staff to the news department  in the future.

americaweekendlogoSmaldone and Gold Named Hosts of ‘America Weekend.’  Radio pros Valerie Smaldone and Leslie Gold are named new hosts for the Envision Networks-syndicated weekend talk radio program “America Weekend.”  Envision’s show airs on both Saturdays andsmaldonevalerie Sundays and the network says it’s “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations,” covering “the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  Smaldone and Gold join current “America Weekend” talent goldleslieMike Bennett, Ed Kalegi, Smith and Sabatino, and Dave Graveline.  Envision VP of programming Michael Lichtstein says, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Valerie and Leslie join the team of hosts on ‘America Weekend.’  Each brings a breadth of radio experience to the show and together they set a new bar when it comes to delivering compelling and thought-provoking conversation.”  Smaldone adds, “I am delighted to be working with the fabulous Leslie Gold as we host a weekly show together focusing on fascinating personalities and celebrities, trends and curiosities.”  Gold says, “‘America Weekend’ presents an opportunity to talk about the stuff that intrigues, amuses and vexes all of us.  Hosting the show with my real-life friend Valerie Smaldone makes it an immense pleasure for me.  We pledge captivating talk by two veteran broadcasters who are also true friends.  It should be much fun.”

adweek14Radio to Be on Hand at Advertising Week Conference in NYC Next Week.  When Advertising Week kicks off in New York City next week, radio will be a segment of the media industry presenting during the four-day conference.  One of the panel highlights will be titled, “Voices of the Original Social Media,” hosted by the RAB and moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber, on Tuesday, September 30 at 11:30 am ET.  This session will feature both nationally syndicated airfarbererica talent and local stars relating their experiences with listeners and brand partners and how that’s being leveraged over the airwaves and on digital platforms.  The panel will include: NBC Sports Radio toomeramaniNetwork’s Amani Toomer, Premiere NetworksBobby Bones, WQHT, New York “Hot 97” morning personality Ebro Darden, and WMIB, Miami “103.5 The Beat” midday personality Angie MartineziHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will take part in a panel titled, “Loss of Serendipity” on Wednesday, October 1 alongside MediaLink chairman and CEO, Michael Kassan and Google SVP global marketing Lorraine Twohill during which they will “explore the flip side of data-tailored content creation and distribution by considering the importance of serendipity.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field will moderate a panel titled “Evolution or Revolution Part II” on Thursday, October 2.  His panelists will include: Enterprise Group president Jim Doyle, The New York Times EVP of advertising Meredith Kopit Levien, TBWA president and CEO Troy Ruhanen, Centaur Media CEO Andria Vidler, and Shelly Palmer of Shelly Palmer Digital Living.  They will talk about “disruption, real-time reinvention, retaining and growing share, and balancing today with tomorrow.”

limbaughrushLimbaugh Goes on the Offensive.  Brandishing a new tactic to fight the StopRush campaign being waged against his Premiere Networks-syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh and official show spokesman Brian Glicklich issued a press release yesterday (9/23) with the purpose of “outing” the forces behind what Limbaugh calls a “conspiracy.”  TALKERS readers are well aware of the campaign – led by Media Matters for America – to hit Limbaugh (and others) where it hurts most: in their advertising revenue.  That organizations aligned with Media Matters are conducting digital campaigns to harass mediamattersadvertisers on Limbaugh’s program is not disputed, but yesterday’s release attempts to flesh out the tactics and the people involved in the campaign.  The release says, in part, “The StopRush group claims to be made up of ordinary consumers unhappy with Rush Limbaugh’s comments.  The group claims to be ‘grassroots,’ just concerned consumers who won’t shop at businesses that advertise with Rush Limbaugh.  In truth, however, there are no potential customers here, just a small number of hardcore political activists founded by Angelo Carusone, EVP of Media Matters for America.  It’s remarkably tiny. Only 10 Twitter users account for almost 70% of all StopRush tweets to advertisers, amplified by illicit software.  In addition, almost every communication from a StopRush activist originates from outside the state of the advertiser.  Thus, these activists are not and never would have been customers… their only role is to harass small businesses in an attempt to interfere with their operations, as long as they are advertising with Rush.  ‘A small number of politically motivated out-of-state activists are distributing target lists indiscriminately, and annoying small businesses until they give up the advertising deals that help them grow, or risk being unable to conduct business at all.  It’s not even activism… it’s blackmail,’ according to Brian Glicklich. Meanwhile, Carusone issues the following statement in response to Limbaugh’s press release, which you can read in its entirety here.  “Rush Limbaugh’s show has reportedly lost millions of dollars in revenue for radio companies, thousands of advertisers big and small refuse to run ads on the program and radio stations are dropping the show.  After initially insisting there were no troubles with advertisers, two years later Limbaugh’s crisis team comes out with a report attributing this massive exodus to just 10 people? The numbers just don’t add up.  This is a grassroots effort that grows every day.  Instead of attacking people on the internet, Limbaugh’s team would better fill their role by advising their client not to excuse rape in some situations (as he did just last week).  Rush Limbaugh is bad for business — and the only thing Limbaugh has to blame for that is his own repeated conduct.”  In addition to the press statement, Limbaugh published on his website the names of nine people he says are leaders in the campaign, complete with Twitter IDs and, in some cases, emails.

margeryelizabethMargery Punnett to Leave ‘myTalk 107.1’ in Minneapolis.  Announcing via the Hubbard Radio female-targeted talk outlet’s website, Margery Punnett (left) says she’ll leave her midday talk show position at KTMY, Minneapolis “myTalk 107.1” in November to join her husband (and former KTMY co-host) Ian Punnett in Phoenix.  Margery Punnett – who currently co-hosts the midday show with Elizabeth Ries (right) – says she’ll move to Phoenix to join Ian who’s there studying at the graduate level at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

ketelaarsteveKetelaar Exits WOC-AM, Quad Cities.  According to a story in the Quad Cities Times, WOC-AM Quad Cities morning drive host Steve Ketelaar has left the station.  It’s not clear if Ketelaar was let go or if he left of his own accord.  In the story, Jim O’Hara, operations manager for the iHeartMedia Quad Cities cluster, tells the paper, “He is going to pursue his voice-work career full time, which is…pretty successful already.  He’s looking forward to doing it 100% of the time.”  Ketelaar co-hosted the morning show with Dan Deibert who remains co-host of the morning show on WOC-AM. He’s being joined by the company’s Dan Kennedy as co-host.

cecilbobHearst Baltimore’s Cecil to Exit.  Director of sales Bob Cecil has shared his decision to leave Hearst Baltimore’s two-station combo.  President and general manager Cary Pahigian comments that Cecil has “contributed immeasurably” to the Baltimore tandem “for several decades,” but “after careful consideration” he will “step away and enjoy time with his family.  We thank Bob for his extraordinary efforts and wish him only the best.”  In a staff memo, Cecil writes, “It has been a great privilege teaming with the Ravens, Orioles, Naval Academy, and so many other terrific business partners throughout my career.  I am appreciative of the support of Cary Pahigian and look forward to his – and your – great success in the years ahead.”  Hearst Baltimore consists of WIYY “98 Rock” and talker WBAL.  Cecil joined the stations 14 years ago; his last day there will be one week from Friday (10/3).

freelancestarSalierno Named Interim GM of Star Radio Group.  Longtime radio sales executive Ralph Salierno is promoted to interim general manager of the Star Radio Group based in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  For the past two years, Salierno has served as director of sales for the station group.  He’s also worked in the industry in Orlando, Virginia Beach, Oklahoma City and Memphis.  Star Radio Group is part of The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company which was purchased at a bankruptcy auction in May of this year by Sandton Capital Partners for $30.2 million.  The radio stations are: country WFLS, hip hop WVBX, classic rock WWUZ, and news/talk WNTX-AM and translator W243BS at 96.5 FM.  Free Lance-Star and Star Radio Group publisher and CEO Gene Carr states, “Ralph has been a key member of the Star Radio group and has earned this internal promotion.  In his new duties as interim GM, he will continue to serve as the director of sales as well.  Ralph has done a great job in driving revenue growth.”  At the same time, the station announces Jeff Beck is promoted to program director for WFLS and WWUZ.  He’ll also have a supervisory role over WVBX and WNTX.  Carr adds, “Jeff brings years of service and industry knowledge to the team.  This new management team will help to position the company for further growth.”

SOCO Radio Adds LMA of Pueblo Stations.  Announcing the local management agreement between his SOCO Radio and United States CPP LLC, SOCO principal Mike Knar takes control of news/talk KWRP, Pueblo, translators K230BB, Fowler, Colorado (93.9), K262BB, Boone, Colorado (100.3) and oldies KFVR-FM, Beulah, Colorado.  Knar states, “These are assets I’ve coveted since I left Cumulus in 2011.  We plan on driving a very hard local message in Southern Colorado.  SOCO also controls AC KFEZ, Walsenburg, Colorado and hip hop KJQY, Colorado City.  Knar announces his firm is seeking talent for his stations, especially broadcasters who can work on air and sell.  Contact him at: mike@socoradio.com.

hornsStanleyCupKissing the Cup!  It’s almost hockey season and CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn (left) and VP of affiliate sales and marketing Jennifer Horn (right) are getting into the spirit as they kiss the Stanley Cup, currently being held by the 2014 champion Los Angeles Kings.  The Horns had the opportunity to check out the NHL championship trophy at Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller’s Stanley Cup celebration.

U.S. ISIS Policy/Syria Strikes, NFL Domestic Violence Cases/ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons, Emma Watson UN Speech/Nude Pix Threat, UN Climate Change Conference, Hillary Clinton Presidential Prospects, Mid-Term Elections, Iran Nukes Negotiations, and Hannah Graham Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The Obama Administration’s ISIS policy and the recent air strikes in Syria; the ongoing discussion about the various domestic violence cases involving NFL players and ESPN’s decision to suspend Bill Simmons for his rant against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell; actress Emma Watson’s speech before the UN about feminism and women’s rights and the subsequent threat by hacktivists to reveal nude pictures of her; the UN Climate Change conference and President Obama’s speech; the prospects for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run; the looming mid-term elections and speculation about majority changes in Congress; the negotiations with Iran over fighting ISIS and the country’s nuclear program; the case of missing Virginia college Hannah Graham were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 19, 2014

| September 19, 2014

kfwb sportsKFWB Ready to Unleash “The Beast 980.” Los Angeles talker KFWB officially plugs in all the components to transition to all-sports “The Beast 980” next Monday (9/22).  Weekday mornings (5:30 am – 9:00 am) will be kick-started by a locally originated program headed by noted Fox and ESPN talent Jeanne Zelasko, and former NBA, UCLA player Marques Johnson.  Having worked at San Diego’s XETRA “XTRA Sports,” the talented Zelasko is no stranger to doing Southern California sports radio.  “The Jim Rome Show” (Rome is also an XTRA alum) airs from Orange County (9:00 am – 12:00 noon), followed by a three-hour show (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm) local show fronted by longtime KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 4) sports anchor Fred Roggin.  Brett Winterble (SiriusXM) and former Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants tight end George Wrighster take over from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm; “L.A. Sports Today” follows between 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. CBS Sports Radio‘s Doug Gottlieb will air from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm. In addition to being the flagship of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, “The Beast” will carry Sunday, Monday, and Thursday NFL games; NCAA football and basketball play-by-play; and a weekly overview of USC athletics.

rosejoeOdds & Sods.  WQAM, Miami morning drive personality Joe Rose is giving up his “other” gig as sports anchor at NBC affiliate WTVJ, Miami.  In a press statement, Rose comments, “It’s time for me to slow downmarottarich and get a decent night’s sleep!  It’s been a fun ride and I’ve been able to cover a lot of major sporting events that I never could have if it wasn’t for NBC 6.”…..KFI, Los Angeles morning sports anchor Rich Marotta is leaving KFI and the radio business.  Marotta, who appears on the Bill Handel show, is a well-known Southern California sports voice, who’s also done radio play-by-play broadcasts for pro teams including the NBA’s Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the NFL’s Raiders.

johnsonpattiReach Media Adds Patti Johnson to NY Sales Staff.  This is a return to REACH Media Inc. for Patti Johnson who most recently served as local sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  Prior to that, Johnson served for almost three years as an account executive in the Chicago offices of REACH Media.  Her new gig begins Monday (9/22) as she works from the New York office of REACH as account manager, Eastern sales.  She also previously worked for Interep Radio Sales in Chicago and St Louis in various sales positions.

crninternational logoCRN International Study Draws Eye-Opening Conclusions About Radio Ads.  The results of CRN International’s research poll of 525 consumers and the resultant white paper shines a spotlight on the traditional methods of advertising on radio, how consumers perceive those efforts and what might be done to make radio a more effective advertising vehicle.  When it comes to influencing a purchase decision, the study — conducted and released by the Connecticut-based, national ad agency that specializes in radio — indicates that 41% of survey respondents said that custom content – defined as useful or entertaining information provided by a sponsor – would be the messaging form most likely to increase their purchase decision.  Testimonials from everyday consumers like themselves came in second as a purchasing influencer at 20%, with traditional commercials finishing third at 18%.  A red flag for radio is that more than 80% of the respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spot commercials.  Those ads, they said, have little chance of influencing a buying decision, according to the study.  Perhaps more alarming for radio operators is the results seemed to fly in the face of previous studies that most radio listeners stay tuned in through entire lengthy commercial stop sets.  In the CRN research, 67% of the consumers said they don’t make it past the second advertisement during a commercial break.  However, positive signs from the study include some of the following conclusions: Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28% said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42% said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; 23% of the respondents said meeting radio personalities at a live, local radio station appearance would be of interest to them; 52% said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio; Almost 60% said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor.  To see the CRN International white paper, click here.

americaweekendlogo‘America Weekend’ Airs on WNJE, Trenton.  Becoming a part of Connoisseur Media-owned religious formatted Trenton, New Jersey outlet WNJE’s programming is “America Weekend.”  The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend news/talk program is described by the syndicator as a show “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations, ‘America Weekend’ covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  The program offers over 12 hours of new programming each weekend from the lineup of hosts that includes: Ed Kalegi, Mike Bennett, Valerie Smaldone, Leslie Gold, Smith and Sabatino, Animal Radio, and “Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline.

siriusWhartonOfficial Opening.  The new SiriusXM studios at the Wharton School on the campus of Penn are official opened by Geoffrey Garrett, newly appointed Dean of the Wharton School (left), and Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM (right).  The ceremony for the official ribbon cutting for SiriusXM’s studio for Business Radio powered by the Wharton School took place on September 18.

The NFL and Domestic Violence Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 15-19.  The intense controversy over recent domestic violence cases involving NFL players was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of September 15.  Coming in at #2 was the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.  At #3 was the new domestic terror threats tied with the foiled Australian plot followed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions and the GOP hopefuls at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.