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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

| November 16, 2022

Skippy Leaves KMJ-AM/FM Fresno After Three Years Co-Hosting Afternoons. The Fresno Bee reports that Frances Echeverria – a.k.a. Skippy (right) – has left Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno. After leaving alternative rock KFRR-FM’s morning show in 2019, she joined KMJ-AM/FM to host the afternoon drive show alongside Philip Teresi (left). But on Friday (11/11), she announced that she’s retiring from radio. She told her audience, “The station has meant more for me personally that I can ever explain.” Echeverria called the change a lifestyle change, as much as a career change. The Bee notes that she wrote in a post on the website, “I didn’t want to do radio anymore. It wasn’t that it was bad. In fact, the chemistry with my partner was continually evolving into something better. I had good bosses. I felt like I was making a difference, whatever that means. Working there made me smarter. And yet I was done. Deep in my heart and down in my soul. Done.” Echeverria also works as a therapist and is a professor at Fresno State.

FOX News Media Extends Deal with Mark Levin. Talk media personality Mark Levin and FOX News Media agree to an extension of Levin’s current multi-year deal in which he’ll remain host of “Life, Liberty & Levin” that airs Sunday nights at 8:00 pm ET on FOX News Channel. Levin says, “FOX News Channel and I are extending my show. Suzanne Scott trusted that I could do a show and I want to thank her and her team and all the folks in between who’ve supported this. I want to thank you. I want to thank FOX. I want to thank my family.” FOX News Media says “Life, Liberty & Levin” is the second highest-rated cable news program on weekends, averaging 1.7 million viewers on Sundays at 8:00 pm for 2022 to date. “With Levin at its helm, the show’s total audience almost triples CNN’s programming in the timeslot and nearly quadruples MSNBC’s total and A25-54 demo viewership. In October 2022, the program earned 1.6 million viewers and 127,000 in the demo, making it the number one program in weekend primetime programming.”

WNYC Produces Podcast Series Titled ‘The Divided Dial’ That Focuses on Salem Media Group. The latest news organization to present a report on news/talk radio is WNYC. In this case, the project from WNYC Studio’s On The Media is a five-part podcast titled, “The Divided Dial,” that “charts the growth of broadcasting company Salem Media Group.” WNYC says Salem is “a once small, conservative Christian radio network that quietly expanded their reach in far-right media through the hard to monitor, difficult to fact check, and minimally scrutinized medium of talk radio. With holdings of over 100 radio stations (many in the top 25 markets) and shows syndicated to over 3,000 stations across the country, the series uncovers how Salem exerts influence behind many conservative figures in America — while receiving considerably less media attention than other far-right news sources. The series also puts Salem’s growth in the context of nearly nine decades of radio history, illuminating how conservative dominance of the airwaves was aided by long-term regulatory erosion and strategic pressure from the right.” The project is reported and hosted by Katie Thornton and includes conversations with scholars, journalists, and media experts, as well as a “rare on-the-record” interview with Salem SVP Phil Boyce. You can find the first podcast in the series here.

LABF Celebrates ‘Industry Trailblazers’ at ‘Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts’ Event. The 2022 Library of American Broadcasting Foundation’s “Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts” event took place last night (11/15) at Gotham Hall in New York. The annual event was hosted by ABC News’ “Nightline” co-anchor Juju Chang and celebrated “distinguished individuals who have – for the past century – been the creators, innovators, journalists, leaders, performers, and producers that have brought the electronic arts to the prominence they occupy in the United States and the world today, and who have set the stage for the future.” Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Library of American Broadcasting collection located at the University of Maryland and support LABF awards for students and scholarly works about the history of broadcasting and their impact on American society and culture. Pictured above are: (standing, l-r) Chang; Jack Goodman, LABF co-chair; Adam Symson, president & CEO, E.W. Scripps; Bob Pittman, chairman & CEO, iHeartMedia; Pete Williams, justice correspondent, NBC News (ret.); Sean McManus, chairman, CBS Sports; Joyce Tudryn, IRTS president & CEO; Heidi Raphael, LABF co-chair; Fareed Zakaria, CNN anchor, author, columnist, The Washington Post; (sitting l-r) Alex Prud’homme; Deb McDermott, CEO, Standard Media Group; S. Epatha Merkerson, actress; and Bud Walters, president, Cromwell Media. Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

TALKERS News Notes. A new content distribution deal between VSiN, The Sports Betting Network and Gow Media will put VSiN’s longform sports betting shows and Brent Musburger’s one minute “Action Updates” on Gow Media’s SportsMap network. VSiN says it expects the deal to more than double its terrestrial radio affiliates. Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “We are thrilled to be working with VSiN. VSiN has set the standard for sports gambling content. Through this content distribution deal, we will bring together some of the most influential personalities in sports radio to entertain and inform our combined audiences.” VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musberger adds, “David Gow has created a powerhouse in the U.S. radio industry, and we couldn’t be more excited to be his choice to deliver real-time sports betting news, analysis and insights to the growing SportsMap radio audience.”…..CNN Audio announces that Matt Martinez joins the network as showrunner for “The Assignment with Audie Cornish” – CNN’s newest weekly podcast premiering tomorrow (11/17). Previously, Martinez was a senior producer at On Being Studios, producing radio shows and podcasts for “On Being with Krista Tippett.” He was also the director of content at KNKX Public Radio in Tacoma.

Trump Announces ’24 Bid, Midterms Aftermath, The Economy/FTX Collapse, Immigration, Abortion, Biden-Xi Meeting, G-20/Russia-Ukraine War, Trump Org Trial, and NASA’s Artemis Launches Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15). Former President Donald Trump announces his run for president in 2024; the aftermath of the midterm elections, including the Republicans’ expected control over the U.S. House and Rick Scott’s challenging Mitch McConnell as top Republican in the U.S. Senate; the rate of inflation, concerns about a recession, and the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX; a judge halts the use of Title 42 to expel migrants from the U.S.; Georgia’s strict abortion ban is struck down in court; the meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping; the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia and its condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; former Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg testifies at the company’s fraud trial; and NASA launches its Artemis rocket that re-boots the U.S. moon program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, October 31, 2022

| October 31, 2022

Monday Memo: Earwitness News. There are new WCBS/WINS synergies and USA top-biller WTOP offers voluntary separation buyouts. With so many radio voices now in permanent remote mode, and the post-pandemic gig economy flourishing, consultant Holland Cooke describes an opportunity “like Uber for newscasters.” Read his column here.

 

Pending Business: Gear Up for the Holiday Season. The midterm elections are almost history and radio sellers are getting ready for this year’s holiday season. There’s no way of knowing for certain how much consumers will spend and on what, but radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that a look at where Americans are spending now can provide a roadmap to a successful holiday sales season. Read more here.

 

Scott Shannon Announces Retirement. Legendary radio personality Scott Shannon didn’t work in talk radio, but it seems almost criminal not to recognize his announced retirement from his daily morning show. On Friday (10/28), he told his WCBS-FM, New York listeners that is retiring from morning radio on December 16. Among his many achievements in the radio business are his stints at three New York City stations, first at WHTZ-FM “Z100” – which is chronicled in the documentary film, Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York – and then at WPLJ-FM. He is credited with the creation of the “morning zoo” concept that was imitated throughout the 1980s. Shannon will continue his other roles with Audacy as host of the nationally syndicated “America’s Greatest Hits” program and the “True Oldies” format on WCBS-HD3.

Hubbard and VSiN Bring Sports Betting Content to Seattle. KNUC-HD2 is the new home of sports gambling radio as Hubbard Radio and VSiN partner in the effort. The press release says, “The station will deliver news and analysis from the industry’s most knowledgeable sports betting experts and legendary book makers to inform and entertain the growing number of people betting on sports. Sister station KIXI-AM 880, will also air “Action Updates” twice each weekday as well as “VSiN PrimeTime” with Tim Murray and former NFL quarterback Shaun King. Hubbard Seattle market manager Trip Reeb comments, “With the incredible growth sports betting has seen in recent years, we saw this as a great opportunity to capitalize on that rapid expansion and the specialized content VSiN delivers.” VSiN content currently airs on more than 140 terrestrial radio stations in 33 states.

iHeartMedia Announces New ‘Glee’ Podcast. The newest podcast for fans of the television hit “Glee!” titled, “And That’s What You REALLY Missed,” is available from iHeartRadio, hosted by Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale. iHeartRadio says, “Calling all Gleeks! We’re baaaaack…again. Kevin McHale (aka Artie Abrams) and Jenna Ushkowitz (aka Tina Cohen-Chang) are heading back to William McKinley High School to re-watch all six seasons of ‘Glee!’ We’re taking you all the way from McKinley High to New York City, from the choir room to Nationals, and from the Super Bowl to a world tour! We’ll look back on your favorite moments and never before heard stories with a slew of guests including cast, crew, celebrities and you, the fans! So warm up those vocal cords and tune those ears, because it’s all coming out.”

Midterms, Pelosi Attack, January 6/Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, Affirmative Action, The Economy, Brazil Election, and Elon Musk & Twitter Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debates ahead of the midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband; the legal battle over former President Donald Trump’s January 6 emails and his other legal issues; Russia’s continuing assault on Ukraine’s infrastructure; the U.S. Supreme Court takes on affirmative action in higher education; inflation and fears of a recession; Lula defeats Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election; and Elon Musk takes control of Twitter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

| October 19, 2022

Salem to Acquire Four More Miami Signals for Spanish Programming. A day after announcing that it is acquiring Miami market station WMYM-AM and translator W254DT (98.7 FM) from Actualidad Media Group, LLC, Salem Media Group reveals its deal with Fenix Broadcasting Corporation and co-owned WRHC Broadcasting Corporation to buy the assets of Spanish news outlet WWFE-AM 670 and translator W276DV (103.1 FM) along with Spanish news WRHC-AM and translator W254DV (98.7 FM). Salem says it intends to continue broadcasting in Spanish post-closing. Salem Media executive chairman Edward Atsinger comments, “From this nation’s early days its voices of freedom spoke loudly and were heard. This is one reason we are a true democracy, and not a totalitarian regime. At a time when the voices of freedom in Spanish-language programming are threatened, it is our duty to step up and serve the South Florida audience. For over four decades Salem Media Group has provided a platform for conservative voices on-air, and now online, and in print. Now we will do the same for South Florida’s Spanish-speaking community as well, as we add leading Spanish-speaking voices of freedom to our lineup. The recent passing of Fenix Broadcasting’s president and founder Jorge Rodriguez, Sr. makes this effort even more timely as we work to build upon the broadcast legacy that he and his wife Ana, and son Jorge, Jr. have created. Jorge Sr.’s passionate fight for freedom defined his operation of WWFE AM 670 ‘La Poderosa’ and WRHC AM 1550 ‘Cadena Azul.’ We are grateful to be entrusted with these legendary stations as a platform for our new Spanish-language conservative programming.”

Cumulus Media Names Sly King Promotions Director for Birmingham Station Group. Seventeen-year radio pro Sly King is named promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-FM/WZRR-FM, sports talk outlets WJOX-FM, WJOX-AM, and WJQX-FM, plus urban AM WUHT-FM. King started his radio career as an intern with WUHT-FM, and later serving the station as producer of the popular nationally syndicated morning program, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.” In addition to King’s new role as promotions director, he continues his on-air role on WUHT-FM. Cumulus Birmingham VP and market manager James Robinson comments, “I am excited to announce Sly King as our new promotions director in Birmingham. I am proud to promote from within our Birmingham team, someone who has been committed to the Birmingham community for many years. I believe Sly will continue his dedicated hard work and will take the Cumulus Birmingham team to new heights.”

Podtrac to Unveil New Sales Network Ranking. The company says its new Podtrac Sales Network Ranking “showcases the reach and delivery of podcast networks that provide important advertising options to the industry across all of the shows they represent.” Podtrac says this new ranking “provides advertisers with free monthly access to Podtrac reach and delivery information for top sales networks. The networks on the new ranking represent more than 38,000 podcasts and 500 million monthly downloads.” Topping the list is Wondery’s sales network with a US monthly audience of 25 million which includes podcasts they represent on their Art19 platform. Other networks on the ranking include podcast ad and publishing platforms Acast and Libsyn AdvertiseCast, both newly measured by Podtrac, plus PodcastOne. You can see the inaugural ranking here. Since 2016, Podtrac has published its monthly ranking of Top Podcasts and Top Podcast Publishers.

TALKERS News Notes. The National Football League and iHeartMedia announce the NFL Podcast Network’s fall programming lineup. In September, the NFL and iHeartMedia launched a series of new shows including: “NFL Now,” with Andrew Siciliano; “NFL Total Access”; and “NFL GameDay View,” with Rachel Bonnetta, Cynthia Frelund, Gregg Rosenthal and Patrick Claybon. This month, they will debut new podcasts including: “The Season with Peter Schrager”; “El Huddle,” hosted by Will Selva and MJ Acosta-Ruiz; and “NFL Players: Second Acts,” with former All-Pro Charles “Peanut” Tillman and former Pro-Bowler Roman Harper…..CNN Audio launches the new podcast, “The Assignment with Audie Cornish,” on November 17. CNN says, “In this candid weekly show, Cornish will convene conversations with everyday people at the center of debates that are rocking the culture with topics spanning the arts, education, politics, business, and sports – people living behind the headlines in the very heart of the zeitgeist. Listeners will hear stories from inside the communities and cultures shaping what we experience.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals announces the second season of the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning investigative franchise, “Gone South.” In season 2, producer and journalist Jed Lipinski investigates the Dixie Mafia, “a rag-tag confederation of traveling criminals who terrorized the Southeastern United States beginning in the early 1960s.”…..Audacy, Inc. says it will report its 2022 third quarter financial results before the market opens on Tuesday, November 8. The company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 11:00 am ET that morning to review the results and recent progress against its strategic initiatives. Previously, Cumulus Media Group announced that it would present its 2022 third quarter financial results on October 28…..VSiN, The Sports Betting Network, adds new affiliate stations as iHeartMedia’s KEGL-FM, Dallas-Fort Worth “97.1 The Freak” and WAIO-FM, Rochester add VSiN programming to their weekend schedules.

Midterms, Trump Legal Issues, Russia-Ukraine War, The Economy, Ye-George Floyd Case, Xi Jinping, Iran Protests, and Dan Snyder Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The debates ahead of the November midterm elections and speculation about which party will control the House and the Senate; the various legal battles former President Donald Trump is facing; Russia’s use of kamikaze drones to target Ukraine’s infrastructure; high food & gas prices, the up & down financial markets and predictions of a recession; the daughter of George Floyd announces $250 million suit against Ye for statements about Floyd’s cause of death; China’s President Xi Jinping is named to third five-year term; the protests rocking Iran’s power structure; and Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder defends himself after allegations he’s hired private investigators to find “dirt” on his fellow owners were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

| September 13, 2022

Sales vs Customer Service. Longtime radio sales professional Kathy Carr, president of the Howie Carr Radio Network, writes today in an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine that in radio’s halcyon days of the 1990s, a salesperson could make a good living filling agency avails. “Those were the days of sitting in front of that huge desktop computer and typing out a schedule in Tapscan to make the cost per point. But was that really sales or was it mere customer service?” Carr says real salespeople will always be able to find a job and reveals five questions she asks a prospective seller to determine if they are really a salesperson. Read it here.

Salem Media Group To Boost Power. In a promotion that takes effect at the beginning of next year, Salem Media Group senior vice president Allen Power will be elevated to president/broadcast media. Chief executive officer David Santrella comments, “Allen Power and I have worked and collaborated closely for 18 of my 21 years with Salem. His keen operational experience, combined with his strong hand of leadership, provides a perfect combination to build a better future for the broadcast division.” Power notes, “My years with Salem have been the most rewarding of my career. Our dual focus on doing well – while doing good – provides a culture unique in media. I’m grateful for the leadership of our founders, Edward Atsinger and Stuart Epperson, and to Dave Santrella for the opportunity to play this role as our company continues to grow as a multimedia platform.” In other SMG news, senior vice president of operations Linnae Young is upped to executive vice president of operations & revenue development. “Linnae has been my go-to person every time we’ve had an opportunity to sell multiple marketing elements from several divisions to new clients,” Santrela states. “Her work in our industry on Salem’s behalf with many clients made this an easy decision for me. Linnae brings out the very best from those she works with; I look forward to seeing her touch across the entire division.” Meanwhile, Salem’s Chicago general manager/regional vice president Jeff Reisman is upped to senior vice president/operations, where he will oversee the company’s stations in eastern markets. According to Santrella, “Allen [Power] and I have worked closely with Jeff for many years. His track record in Chicago speaks for itself. He was the first building block to what is now our digital marketing agency, Salem Surround. These three promotions [of Power, Young, and Reisman] are all from within our Salem team, which is further proof that Salem appreciates/believes in our employees and rewards hard work and success.”

Remembering Lowry Mays. The founder and chief executive officer of what is now iHeartRadio, Lowry Mays, died yesterday (Monday, 9/12) at the age of 87. Mays co-founded San Antonio Broadcasting Company with Red McCombs 50 years ago (1972). They purchased their first radio station, San Antonio’s KEEZ-FM; three years later (1975), they bought a second San Antonio outlet (currently iHeartMedia news/talk) WOAI. The company became Clear Channel Communications then iHeartRadio. Born in Harris County Texas on July 24, 1935, Mays graduated with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1957 and enlisted in the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge, Mays earned an MBA from Harvard University and became an investment banker. Mays continued his affiliation with Texas A&M by serving two non-consecutive terms (1985 -1991 and 2001- 2007) on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, including as chair from 2003 – 2005. In 2002, the school renamed its business school after Mays. Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp comments, “A really big tree fell in the Aggie forest. We will never forget what he did for Aggieland.” Texas A&M’s school of business was endowed by Mays in 1996 with a $15 million gift and was renamed the Lowry Mays College & Graduate School of Business. The university renamed the school once more in 2002 to Mays Business School. In 2017, the Mays Family Foundation gifted an additional $25 million, the largest single commitment in the business school’s history. Both gifts were part of an overall lifetime giving of $47 million. A 1999 Texas Business Hall of Fame inductee, Mays served as chair of the United Way of San Antonio and was a member of the associates board at Harvard Business School. In 2003, Mays testified before the Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. In an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, however, he remarked, “We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.” Mays was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004, but suffered a stroke the following year. He stepped down as Clear Channel’s chief executive officer and was succeeded by his son, Mark.

Bloomberg Media Chief Mayers Is Retiring. Having joined the company in 2001 as Bloomberg Radio’s station manager, Bloomberg Media global head of radio and television Al Mayers is retiring from the company. Announcing the news in a staff memo, Bloomberg Media chief executive officer M. Scott Havens and Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait write, “Al has been a tireless leader at Bloomberg for over two decades, first in radio and now in his wider broadcast role. During COVID, it often seemed as if Al was single-handedly keeping us on the air. His retirement is a prompt for us to redesign the editorial side of Bloomberg Media – both in line with that philosophy and the broader changes in journalism and the media world. The lines between audio, video, print and live events have become ever harder to distinguish, especially as our audience decides when they want to watch, read or listen to our content. We need a unified approach not just to fit this world, but also to reflect the fact that Bloomberg Media is now an integrated global business, which surged almost 50% last year and has just realized another 24% increase in the first six months of 2022. So after Al leaves this month, David Merritt will become head of a new position, Bloomberg Media Editorial. [He] will oversee the editorial side of all of our media platforms – the website, all our audio and video, including BTV, radio, Quicktake, podcasts, events and our magazines. We are forever grateful for what Al has done for this company and wish him all the best in his next chapter on Cape Cod.” Mayers previously was general manager of Bloomberg Radio, overseeing the station’s programming, syndication and business operations. Michael Bloomberg named Mayers chief of Bloomberg’s global TV division in 2015.

Omnipresent air talent/media executive Nick Cannon will host next month’s (10/19) Marconi Radio Awards dinner during the NAB Show in New York. The ceremony returns in-person after a (COVID-caused) two-year hiatus. NAB executive vice president/industry affairs April Carty-Sipp comments, “NAB is excited to be joined by the talented Nick Cannon to honor the on-air voices and local stations that have shined brightest over the past year. We look forward to welcoming the broadcast community to this crowd-pleasing and lively celebration of the best in radio.” Ryan Seacrest will be presented with the NAB “Distinguished Service Award”; Paul and Fred Jacobs will receive the “National Radio Award.” Established in 1989 and named after inventor/Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Nominees for “News/Talk Station of the Year” include: KNX, Los Angeles; KRMG, Tulsa; KTMY, Minneapolis; WKXW, Trenton (New Jersey); and WLW, Cincinnati. “Sports (Talk) Station of the Year” nominees include: KNBR, San Francisco; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP, Philadelphia; WMFS, Memphis; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. Finalists for this year’s awards in all categories can be found here.

TALKERS News Notes. “Game Time With Boomer Esiason,” the syndicated TV interview show done by Audacy New York sports talk WFAN’s morning co-host, now has a podcast version. Introduced via Audacy’s 2400 Sports podcast studio, the standalone product will feature material not included in the broadcast version. Esiason remarks, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to expand our in-depth conversations with some of the biggest stars in sports through the launch of this new podcast. This show will enable us to dig deeper into what makes these icons tick and will deliver can’t-miss content for listeners across the country.” … Co-host of the podcast “For Colored Nerds,” Brittany Luse, succeeds Sam Sanders as host of NPR’s “It’s Been A Minute.” Vice president of programming & new content development Yolanda Sangweni notes, “Brittany is one of the most exciting and essential voices in pop culture podcasting. She brings deep curiosity, empathy, and joy to the mic and to her storytelling. We are beyond thrilled to be re-imagining ‘It’s Been A Minute’ with Brittany at the helm.” Luse states, “I’ve spent the entirety of my eight-year hosting career helping audiences to connect the dots between culture and current events. I look forward to continuing and expanding that work at my new home.” Formerly host of podcasts “The Nod” and “Sampler,” Luse will begin her new duties next month (10/7). … Following four months of being interim local host for New Hampshire Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Julia Furukawa has the job permanently. New Hampshire Public Radio president/chief executive officer Jim Schachter notes, “In Julia, we have a serious journalist in the ‘All Things Considered’ anchor chair. [She] connects with listeners across a broad, diverse spectrum; loves exploring New Hampshire; and understands that reporting the news is both a joy and a responsibility. Everyone at our studios knows she’s fun to be around, and now ‘ATC’ users can hear that.” Furukawa adds, “I came to NHPR [two years ago] thinking I’d mostly be behind the scenes, not behind the microphone. The team here has given me the chance to grow into a role I’ve always dreamt of being in; I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for what’s to come.” … Best known for her many reports from the front lines of world events, NPR international correspondent Anne Garrels has died at the age of 71. When Garrels arrived at NPR in 1988, she already had ten years of experience in television news at ABC, where she was bureau chief in both Moscow and Central America. Her NPR backdrops included the Soviet Union, Tiananmen Square, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. … VSiN launches three-hour (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) weeknight sports betting content on iHeartMedia Providence news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920.” In addition, Brent Musburger’s “Action Updates” will air twice a day. Meanwhile in Kansas City, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is airing short-form VSiN-produced betting features throughout the weekend. VSiN’s betting analysts will breakdown betting lines for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC West and other big games on that week’s slate. Elsewhere, Salem Media Group Honolulu sports talk KGU & K236CR “Hawaii Sports Radio Network AM 760 & 95.1 FM” airs VSiN’s “Final Countdown with Stormy Buonantony & Matt Brown” at 11:00 am. … For the second year in a row – and fifth time overall – Syndicated Solutions’ “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” earns the SATW Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Award in the “Travel Audio – Radio” category. The hosts comment, “Week after week, [our team] helps us create the most diverse and engaging network radio program. Collectively, we love the world of travel and all that it encompasses; we’re truly thankful to the wonderful sponsors who are aligned with us. We look forward to continuing to keep engaging, enticing, entertaining and empowering travelers to go explore the world. When that happens, it has such a positive impact on travelers, the travel industry and our society in general. The powerful megaphone we have to successfully impact travel is a blessing that we don’t take for granted.” The program is heard on 495 affiliates.

Nine To Be Inducted Into The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association HOF. Among those to be honored are Eric Jackson from Boston public radio news/talk WGBH; former Boston Red Sox television play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, most recently doing a select number of games on the Red Sox Radio Network; and one-time Boston Celtics Broadcasting president Gerald Walsh, who helped create Boston sports talk (and Red Sox radio flagship) WEEI. Massachusetts Broadcasters Association chair/Beasley Media Group Boston vice president and market manager Mary Menna remarks, “The Massachusetts Broadcasters Association is thrilled to be able to gather in person to celebrate these individuals’ lifelong achievements and contributions to our broadcasting community and to welcome them into the Hall of Fame.” Other inductees include Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien (“Bax & O’Brien”), who partnered together for over twenty years in Springfield on WAQY “Rock 102”; Laura Carlo, who did mornings for more than 25 years on Boston classical WCRB; Nancy Quill, a 38-year veteran on Boston adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7”; WCVB-TV, Boston journalist Jorge Quiroga; and broadcast executive Paul Kelley, the recipient of the 2022 “Pioneer Award.” Hall of Fame committee chair Peter Brown explains that award is given “to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself over decades for lasting contributions made to the broadcast industry and through a leadership role in his or her particular craft. The award was established to recognize individuals who do not appear on-air, but their role helped influence and inspire the Massachusetts broadcast community to reach a pinnacle of excellence.” The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held next Thursday (9/22) at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.

Monday, August 29, 2022

| August 29, 2022

Monday Memo: Promoting Your Podcast with Email. Few opportunities to engage are more powerful than the ongoing conversation you have with followers. Consultant Holland Cooke calls it “a relationship that Pandora and Spotify and SiriusXM can’t emulate and smart radio hosts exploit well.” In this week’s column, HC lists tips from email experts. Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Electric Rapport. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about the electric vehicle legislation passed in California and what the future of electric vehicle sales may mean for marketing via radio. He says, “Although the timing on this potential marketing tidal wave is a few years away, it is worth noting early stage marketing has indeed begun. Should you sharpen the relationships and trust-building skills that will improve your chances of being on the inside track of the planning? There is always room to improve those skills.” Read his column here.

Annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon Raises $3.5 Million. Pictured above is Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (left) on WEEI, Boston’s “Greg Hill Show” (l-r Courtney Cox, Jermaine Wiggins, Greg Hill) as the Audacy sports talk station teamed with regional sport net NESN to raise more than $3.5 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute during the 20th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.” Since its inception, the two-day event has raised more than $65 million. Audacy Boston SVP and market manager Mike Thomas says, “This was the 20th anniversary of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, and our listeners and sponsors came through like never before. To hear the doctors talk about the progress that is being made, the clinical trials that are ongoing, and to hear from patients about how Dana-Farber saved their life will forever be in our hearts and minds. There really is nothing like the two days of this fundraiser.” (Photo: 13 Photography)

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Frank Boyle Memorial Fund. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the creation of The Frank Boyle Memorial Fund to honor the respected broadcaster and media broker who passed away Tuesday at the age of 96. Boyle began his radio career in 1953 at WJR, Detroit before joining Eastman National Radio Sales as Detroit office manager. He was soon promoted to New York office manager and continued to rise steadily, eventually becoming Eastman’s chairman of the board and CEO. Boyle founded Eastman Cable Representatives, the first national sales rep in the cable TV business and the largest for many years. He left Eastman Radio in 1979 to found Frank Boyle & Co., a well-regarded independent station brokerage and consultation company. The firm acquired radio stations in Albany, NY and Peterborough/ Keene, NH, along with a cable system outside of Binghamton, NY. Boyle served on the board of the Radio Advertising Bureau, was inducted in the Hall Fame of Broadcasting in 2006, and awarded the Giants of Broadcasting honor in 2021. He may be the only non-air talent and non-network executive or station group owner to be selected for both significant industry awards. His surviving family encourages donations to The Frank Boyle Memorial Fund by clicking here.

KJCE-AM, Austin to Co-Produce Pregame Show for Friday Night Football. Austin news/talk outlet KJCE-AM “Talk Radio 1370” is partnering with the Westlake High School football program to co-produce a pregame show prior to every Chaparrals football game this season. “Talk Radio 1370” serves as the flagship station of the team’s play-by-play broadcasts and the new show is being hosted by Joe Taylor, who serves as executive producer of the program and voice of the Chaparrals, and KJCE assistant brand manager Kasey Johns. Dubbed “ATX Kickoff, driven by Capitol Chevrolet,” the show will also feature Texas A&M play-by-play voice Andrew Monaco, University of Texas color analyst Roger Wallace and Austin American-Statesman community sports editor Thomas Jones. Audacy Austin SVP and market manager Bob MacKay says, “We’re excited to embark on this partnership with the Chaps and help bring the action home for Westlake Nation. This partnership aligns well with our expanded coverage of high school and college football each week.”

VSiN Announces New Programming; Brent Musburger to Host Weekly Show. The VSiN sports betting network announces its fall programming schedule that includes “Countdown to Kickoff with Brent Musburger,” the new show hosted by the Hall of Fame broadcaster and regular VSiN contributor since the network’s debut in 2017. The program will air Sundays from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm ET. VSiN general manager Len Mead says, “The addition of this new programming and its industry leading talent will position VSiN to provide the growing number of sports bettors in the U.S. with expert betting insights and premium content. Led by a team of sports betting experts, including the legendary Brent Musburger, we look forward to serving sports bettors by expanding our primetime programming and producing new weekend specials highlighting the week’s biggest games.”

SiriusXM’s Tom Brady Show Returns for Second Season. The program “Let’s Go!” starring Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, NFL All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, and Hall of Fame Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Jim Gray begins its second season on September 5.  Sirius XM says, “In its first season, ‘Let’s Go!’ reached the top of the charts among sports podcasts and Gray, Brady and Fitzgerald will continue their compelling and candid conversations every week this fall. Brady begins his historic 23rd season in the NFL when he takes the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 and Fitzgerald is one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game. Gray has known and interviewed these two future Hall of Famers since they came into the league. Listeners will hear their thoughts on the latest news around the league, as well as their lives away from the football field. The show will also feature appearances by high-profile guests.”

Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, FBI Raid/Documents Investigation, Biden Student Loan Plan, The Economy, Oregon Shooting, Russia-Ukraine War, and Artemis Launch Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November midterm elections and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the aftermath of the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago and the classified documents investigation; criticism of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan; inflation and concerns about a recession; the deadly shooting at a grocery store in Oregon; Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; and the scheduled launch of NASA’s Artemis rocket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, November 1, 2021

| November 1, 2021

Monday Memo: “Try to Sell Everyone You Talk to.” Regardless of your stated occupation, you’re in sales, “especially if you’re in radio, where, lately,” consultant Holland Cooke observes, “return on investment in talent is calculated ruthlessly.” In this week’s column, HC recommends a read that he says, “changed my life decades ago, no less than a master class in the way we deal with each other day to day.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: Killing the Customer. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column about handling the situation in which management puts the kibosh on a sale after it’s been consummated. How does a radio seller preserve the relationship with the client? Lapa offers some thoughts on handling this delicate situation. Read more here.

Key Networks and Summit Technology Group Partner for ATMOS Weather Reporting Syndication. This deal between Key Networks and Summit Technology Group will offer ATMOS Weather Reporting to radio stations of all formats and market sizes for no additional barter. Key says ATMOS Weather Reporting is an advanced routine and emergency weather reporting system developed by Summit Technology Group that uses artificial intelligence to generate a script and natural text-to-speech synthesis to deliver a customized, localized weather forecast in a broadcast quality voice. The result is seamless, accurate and as personable as a real meteorologist. With ATMOS Weather Reporting, all advertising inventory is contained in the weather forecasts that are delivered, so stations can sell the forecasts to local sponsors and others. Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “Key Networks’ mission is to bring innovative products and services to the market that you cannot find anywhere else. Mission accomplished with ATMOS Weather powered by Key Networks. Stations will get precise and accurate weather forecasts without having to give up additional inventory outside the content. That is a game changer. This service works on any station in any format and you’ll want to sign up soon, as there is additional cutting-edge technology coming that will provide even more localization to your weather forecast. Prepare to be wowed and provide your local listeners and advertisers with weather forecasts around the clock and branded as you desire. I’m beyond excited to get stations on board!”

Churchill Author to Keynote Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation’s 6th Annual Event and Dinner. The non-profit arm of the Bold Gold Media Group, the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, which supports educational programs that help students prepare for careers in broadcast journalism, announces that professor Andrew Roberts, author of the 2018 international best-seller, Churchill:  Walking With Destiny, will keynote the organization’s 6th Annual Event & Dinner taking place on November 19 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre. The theme of the event is: Celebrating the Leadership of Winston Churchill – Defender of Free Speech and Western Civilization and once again focuses on the importance of freedom of speech, the press and First Amendment rights. Bold Gold Foundation president Vince Benedetto says, “Winston Churchill used the power of speech and the power of radio to rally his nation and the world to fight against tyranny. Churchill also confronted many of the dangerous ideologies that we see reemerging today… ideologies that are a threat to individual freedom and self-government, and he vanquished them. Professor Roberts is going to talk about how he defeated them, and what lessons we can learn from his leadership that are applicable in our time.” Also at this year’s event, the Bold Gold Foundation will honor Northeast PA business leader, Rob Grimm, of Grimm Construction, with The Atlas Award for Citizenship, presented to individuals who, through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue. For more info about this event and to reserve your place, visit www.BoldGold.org

Altitude Ventures Transitions KKSE-AM, Denver to Sports Betting Format. Denver sports talk outlet KKSE-AM, “Altitude Sports Radio 950 AM,” is transitioning to a 24/7 sports betting information format, airing VSiN The Sports Betting Network content. Altitude Sports Radio general manager and SVP Dave Fleck says, “With hundreds of millions of dollars bet on sports in Colorado, credible sports betting information and analysis is increasingly valuable to Denver sports fans. Our listeners have repeatedly told us that they want informative, quality content focused on sports gaming. We’re responding to those listeners by bringing them some of the most knowledgeable sports betting talk in the business, as we become the home of VSiN in Denver.” Air talent include morning talk personalities Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard, former Denver Bronco and Denver radio host Mike Pritchard, sports betting analytics expert Gill Alexander, former pro football executive Michael Lombardi and sportscasting legend Brent Musburger.

El Dorado Broadcasters Names Ashley Gorniak Promotions Director in Victor Valley. For its Victor Valley, California radio station cluster, El Dorado Broadcasters announces that Ashley Gorniak is the new promotions manager. The cluster includes talk KIXW-AM “Talk 960” and five music brands. Gorniak is an upstate New York native who recently relocated to California to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. El Dorado VP of programming Mark Mitchell says, “Ms. Gorniak started as promotions assistant in August and has shown the ability to take on this new role with the station. Ashley has the drive and focus to help our station grow and achieve great things. We welcome her addition to our organization. She is exactly what we need to make the Victor Valley stations sing.”

TALKERS News Notes. The USA Radio nationally syndicated Wayne Allyn Root show moves from its six-year Las Vegas flagship affiliate Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET-AM to Kemp Communications’ crosstown news/talk KMZQ-AM in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart…..Salem Radio Network announces its Election Night 2021 coverage that includes the two high-profile gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as key mayoral races in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia. SRN News and TOWNHALL News are providing live updates during newscasts at the top of each hour as well as Live Special Reports each hour. The one-minute Live Special Reports will air at 30-minutes past the hour beginning at 7:30 pm, ET and continuing until least 11:30 pm, ET or longer if either contest remains undecided…..FOX News Channel names Carley Shimkus co-host of “FOX & Friends First” (weekdays 4:00 am to 6:00 am ET). Shimkus made her debut alongside co-host Todd Piro this morning (11/1). Host Jillian Mele left the position to return home to Philadelphia to focus on her MBA program at La Salle University. In making the announcement, FNC VP of morning programming Gavin Hadden says, “Carley brings great experience to this role developed over nearly a decade at FOX News Media and we are excited to have her join ‘FOX & Friends First.’ We wish Jillian all the best as she returns home to Philadelphia and thank her for her outstanding contribution and dedication to the FOX & Friends franchise.”

Biden Spending Bills, January 6 Investigation/Trump Election Fraud Claims, COVID-19, COP26 Summit, VA Governor’s Race, SCOTUS Abortion Case, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The fate of President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and $1.75 trillion economic plan and Congress likely to act on them this week; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and former President Donald Trump’s ongoing claims of election fraud; the rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., mask & vaccine mandates, and school board tensions; this week’s COP26 Summit in Glasgow and the issue of climate change policies; Democrats are sweating the Virginia gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin; the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing the case of Texas’ restrictive abortion law; and the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.